Add Stephen Colbert to the increasingly lengthy list of people who are banning Kanye West. The embattled rapper (who now goes by Ye) has seen his once-formidable music and fashion empire crumble to dust, and on Thursday night (Oct. 28) he got the bad news that he will never be invited to visit the Ed Sullivan Theater, either.
In the midst of the outrage over West’s repeated amplification of hateful antisemitic tropes, Colbert tried to inject some levity into what is otherwise a not-at-all funny story about hate speech in the monologue to last night’s show. “After much thought and soul-searching I, Stephen Colbert, am banning Kanye West from the Ed Sullivan Theater,” the host announced grimly to hearty applause from the studio audience.
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“Have to. I have to. Line in the sand,” Colbert said before getting serious for a moment and running down a list of completely fake “high profile collabs” the two men have (not) released. Among them: their collection of “spreadable jams” entitled “Strawbeezy Jelleezy,” as well as the now-cancelled release of their duets album, Ye & Phen: Sing Fiddler on the Roof.
“I know this has been too long in coming, I have no excuses for why I didn’t do this before,” Colbert said of the action he took to ban the rapper. Well, maybe one very good one. “Except, perhaps, that he has never been on the show, had no plans to be on the show, we’ve never asked him to be on the show and I am not sure he is aware that I have a show.”
But, Colbert said, he had to take immediate action for fear that Ye might “show up at any moment,” kind of like West did earlier this week when he arrived uninvited at Skechers headquarters and was summarily escorted from the premises. That move came after Ye lost his mega-lucrative deal with Adidas due to the company’s disdain for his hate speech against Jews, a decision that former billionaire West has claimed cost him nearly $2 billion.
“In five years the idea of an unannounced visit from Kanye has gone from ‘Amazing!’ to: ‘sir, you need to leave this Skechers,” Colbert joked. “It gets worse. Unlike with Adidas, Kanye never had any deal with Skechers, apparently Kanye is so desperate he’s just driving around searching Google maps for ‘shoes near me.'”
Watch Colbert’s monologue below.