Fri 23 May 2014
As powerful and candid as Kanye West’s “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” statement was, the astonished look on Mike Myers’ face was equally as memorable. Nine years later, the actor recently spoke to GQ about the famous Katrina telethon they conducted together, and why people judged his reaction completely wrong.
Mike says he fully supported Ye’s comment about the then-President and was “super proud” to have stood next to him at that moment. He also reveals that Mr. West told him he was going to “take some liberties” with the telethon before they stepped in front of the camera.
Read Mike Myers’ quotes below…
I don’t do many things. And I remember watching the television and seeing, because I’m a citizen now, my fellow citizens on the roofs of buildings dying. And I turned into my father, where my dad would shout at the TV. My dad hated injustice. I’ve been called for many, many telethons, hither and yon, and I remember just being so upset and feeling, ironically, that if this was white people on roofs, the army would be there in five seconds. And these are my fellow citizens, who just happen to be people of color, sitting on roofs for multiple days.
So when they called me I said, “Yeah, I’ll do it.” I went there specifically because I wanted to help the Red Cross. I was supposed to be by myself, and I was, like, “fine”, then they said “Do you mind doing it with somebody else?” And I always remembered that Live Aid thing of “leave your egos at the door”, so I said, “Sure, of course.” And they said, “Would you do it with Kanye West?” and I said, “Uh, sure.” I actually wasn’t familiar with his work. And then he said he was going to take some liberties with the thing.
I’m, like, super proud to have been next to him. The look on my face is…to be honest with you, I thought I handled it well. I was like “This is what’s happening…” Because live TV is my milieu, and improv is my training, you know. It has been painful that the culture has at times meditated on my surprise, when it’s really the message, dude. The message, the message, the message, you know. There’s a world of fail culture, and it’s hardly a fail on my part to be next to the guy that spoke truth to power at a time when horrific injustices… [he trails off, point made]
Rewatch Mike and Kanye’s telethon appearance below.
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