It’s been five short months since The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah discussed Ye’s concerning social-media posts in a popular segment. He spoke out about Ye’s online harassment of Kim Kardashian and her-then boyfriend Pete Davidson on a Daily Show piece in March 2022. Ye, who was unhappy with the viral clip that currently has 3 million views on YouTube and 2.5 million views on Twitter, made threats to Noah on Instagram that violated the platform’s policies, resulting in his 24-hour ban. The situation eventually escalated to Ye being banned from performing at this year’s Grammys, the same awards show that Noah was hosting.
During Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, Noah reflected on his interactions with Ye and why he felt compelled to speak out. “I’ve just become more comfortable speaking my mind in situations where I feel like the mob forgets that we’re dealing with human beings,” Noah shared. “It’s easy to stand on the sidelines, see a train crash coming and say nothing about it. And then after the train crashes off the tracks, we say, ‘Oh, I saw that coming!’ Well, then why didn’t you say anything? Especially if you have some sort of platform, you have some sort of obligation to speak a truth. You know, see something and say something.”
Noah wanted to speak to Ye, not only because he was a fan of his, but because he wanted to talk to him as a person. “Kanye West is somebody who has an indelible impression on my life. His music has literally taken me through different periods of my journey, But then there are also moments where I go, like, ‘Man, Kanye, you, you’re going off the rails here,’” Noah explained. “But I can still say that, ‘I care for you as a human being, that’s, that’s why I’m speaking out. I’m not going to not care for you, I’m not going to hate you all of a sudden.’ That’s how I try and see the world, that’s how I would hope people would see me.”
Ye’s online behavior has been fairly quiet; his most recently deleted post was targeted toward Davidson after news broke that he and Kardashian have broken up. While it seems that their Instagram chapter may have closed, Davidson is still dealing with the trauma from Ye’s harassment. He is reportedly in trauma therapy to heal from Ye’s social-media threats. Ye’s former friend Kid Cudi is also done with the rapper, saying it would take a “miracle” to reunite with him. But Noah, despite being on the receiving end of Ye’s harassment, hopes Ye can have a redemption arc. “I think we have gotten very comfortable discarding human beings, immediately tossing them away and making them irredeemable characters. When in fact, I think all of us should be afforded the opportunity to redeem ourselves. All of us should have an opportunity at redemption.”