Appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Monday, SNL cast member Kenan Thompson explained what the experience was like for the stars of the show as they got to “watch the circus unfold.”
“He voiced his opinion, very loudly, for a long time,” said Thompson, 40. “We’re all entitled to our opinion, but you know, I don’t know if that’s the moment, necessarily, to hold people hostage like that — but hey.”
Thompson had already left the stage area because he prefers to watch the musical act on television — and when West, 41, proceeded to “caca on people,” the comedian said he was glad he wasn’t present for the rant.
“As soon as he said, ‘Hey, join me up on stage everybody,’ I was like, ‘Oh, there goes the little cheese in the mouse trap,’ ” he said. “It’s going down. I felt so bad for those guys because it’s hard to stand there and not be able to debate somebody who’s going so far against, you know, your personal opinion and just stand there and take it.”
“We’re fair. We’re in the service business. We try to cater to the host, make sure they have a good show and whatnot, and then when musical guests come in and they’re a little bit crazy, maybe they’re a little bit crazy,” he added. “We let ’em have that. We don’t judge. We’re not there to judge.”
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In his speech, West — wearing a Make America Great Again hat — said he supports the president because he inspires him.
“It’s so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, ‘How could you support Trump? He’s racist.’ Well if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago,” said the rapper. “We don’t just make our decisions off of racism. I’ma break it down to you right now: If someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don’t have to believe in all they policies.”
“You see they laughing at me. You heard ’em, they scream at me, they bully me,” he continued. “They bullied me backstage, they said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’ They bullied me backstage. They bullied me. And then they say I’m in a sunken place. You want to see the sunken place? Okay, I’ma listen to y’all now.”
But a source told PEOPLE that “no one bullied” West about the MAGA hat.
“He wore it in promos and all week before the show even aired and was asking everyone if they thought he should wear the hat, interns, anyone walking by who would listen,” the source said.
The insider also explained that though West’s rant wasn’t televised, SNL wasn’t trying to silence him — the show was already off the air when he began. According to the source, West made things “uncomfortable” for the cast and host Adam Driver by “calling them back onstage and not saying why and then went off on them.”
“The show had been supportive of all of Kanye’s visions throughout the week, even giving him the opportunity for the third song during the goodnight [portion], and then he surprised everyone,” said the source.
West’s allegiance to Trump has been met by outspoken criticism from fans and celebrities alike, and a source told PEOPLE that while controversy can weigh on his wife Kim Kardashian West, she still supports him.
“Having all this backlash against Kanye is embarrassing for her and her family, but she will never say that,” said the source of Kardashian West, 37, who was in the audience on Saturday night and appeared unbothered. “She supports Kanye through and through and truly does think her husband is entitled to his own opinion.”