'Roots' Star LeVar Burton Says Kanye West Has 'Brain Chemistry Issues' After Slavery Comment

"When Kanye West says slavery was a choice, I got an issue with that. It's irresponsible. It is uneducated. It's just stupid," LeVar Burton said

Kanye West‘s remark implying slavery was a “choice” has many fans and celebrities speaking out against the rapper, including Roots star LeVar Burton.

Burton, who played Kunta Kinte in the 1977 drama series, questioned West’s mental state during an interview with Sam Rubin on the KTLA Morning News on Wednesday.

“Where do you start with Kanye? I genuinely believe that this young man has brain chemistry issues and that he is in a hypomanic phase. I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m not a psychologist but I’ve seen this behavior and I know it fairly intimately well,” the actor said. (West has not offered any information on his mental health beyond confirming he had a “breakdown” and is currently on medication.)

“I just think somebody in Kanye’s camp if there is somebody in Kanye’s camp needs to put their arms around him and have him sit the hell down for five minutes until his brain chemistry levels out because he’s not helping himself right now,” Burton continued.

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West sounded off on the centuries African-Americans spent shackled in servitude during an interview on TMZ Live Tuesday. “You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice,” the husband of Kim Kardashian said. “You were there for 400 years and it was all of y’all? It’s like we’re meant to be in prison. I like the word ‘prison’ because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks… Prison is something that unites us as one race.”

Burton doubled down on his thoughts about West’s “brain chemistry” during his interview.

“When Kanye West says slavery was a choice, I got an issue with that. It’s irresponsible. It is uneducated. It’s just stupid. And Kanye has gone on record and said he doesn’t read books. But you don’t, Kanye, need to put out misinformation like that,” the Reading Rainbow alum said.

“They are too many people who listen to you and take what you say as valuable and truth. And so somebody’s got to wrap their arms around this young man and just sit on him until he levels out. Because this hypomanic thing … He doesn’t see that there is anything going on. He just feels normal or a super version of himself. It’s a brain chemistry thing,” Burton said.

He concluded, “Mr. Trump has seized this opportunity and he said in his campaign rally in Michigan last weekend, ‘Kanye gets it. Kanye gets it.’ Kanye is not getting it right now. Kanye is not helping himself. Kanye is in trouble and going to be doing irreparable damage to his career if he doesn’t shut the hell up.”

Levar Burton

After making the slavery comments on Tuesday, the rapper apologized and clarified his comments in a series of tweets.

“To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will,” he wrote in one post, adding in a follow-up tweet: “My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved.”

He added, “The reason why I brought up the 400 years point is because we can’t be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years. We need free thought now. Even the statement was an example of free thought It was just an idea.”

“Once again I am being attacked for presenting new ideas,” West concluded.

Will.i.am and Eve also expressed their anger towards West regarding his slavery remark.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

West’s latest interviews come after multiple sources told PEOPLE that his private behavior has been a cause for concern.

The rapper has cut off contact with many members of his inner circle, including his managers, lawyers, closest friends and he’s also had multiple arguments with his mother-in-law Kris Jenner, according to several sources.

(However, another insider said that “Kanye and Kris have never had a fight, adding, “Just because Kanye is having a strong opinion does not mean that he is mentally ill or headed for a breakdown. It’s unfair.”)

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