A TMZ staffer fired back at Kanye West on Tuesday after the rapper suggested in an interview that slavery "sounds like a choice."

"When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice," West said in an interview on "TMZ Live."

"Like, you were there for 400 years and it's all of you all? You know, it's like we're mentally in prison. I like the word prison 'cause slavery goes too — too direct to the idea of blacks," he continued.

"So prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. We're the human race."


The comment elicited a heated response from TMZ staffer Van Lathan, who said he was "appalled" by West's remarks and that the rapper showed an "absence of thought."

"I think what you're doing right now is actually the absence of thought," Lathan said. "And the reason why I feel like that is because, Kanye, you're entitled to your opinion. You're entitled to believe whatever you want. But there is fact, and real-world, real-life consequence behind everything that you just said."

"While you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you've earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives," Lathan continued. "We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said, for our people, was a choice."

West's interview came days after he voiced support for President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE on Twitter, saying that he and the president shared "dragon energy." He also posted photos of himself wearing the Trump campaign's signature "Make America Great Again" hat.