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Viewers of the September 2005 telethon to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina relief may still remember Mike Myers‘ awkward facial expression when Kanye West said that President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people.” Nine years removed, Myers is now weighing in on the incident.
Myers told GQ in an interview that, despite his startled look during West’s off-script rant, he is actually “super proud” to have been standing next to the rapper during that talked-about moment. “For me, it isn’t about the look of embarrassment on my face,” the Austin Powers star said, but “the fact that somebody spoke truth to power at a time when somebody needed to speak.”
“I assume that George Bush does care about black people — I mean, I don’t know him, I’m going to make that assumption — but I can definitively say that it appeared to me [while] watching [Katrina news coverage on] television that, had that been white people [affected by the storm], the government would have been there faster,” Myers said.
A month after the telethon, Myers and West both appeared on Saturday Night Live, where the two poked fun of the incident. For his part, West has since admitted that his comments went too far. “I would tell George Bush, in my moment of frustration, I didn’t have the grounds to call him a racist,” he told Matt Lauer in 2010.
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