As director Steve McQueen gears up for the release of his fourth directorial feature, heist thriller Widows, the acclaimed filmmaker is giving his two cents on Kanye West’s recent behavior.
McQueen directed West’s video for “All Day”/“I Feel That.”
The polarizing rapper has been the subject of bad press in recent months, most notably his meeting with Donald Trump in the White House Oval Office, where he donned a “Make America Great Again” hat. He also drew backlash for his appearance on TMZ, in which he said 400 years of slavery “sounds like a choice.”
In an interview with Bossip, McQueen offered his explanation for West’s antics.
“What I’m trying to say is I understand it in a way that he wants to be a free Black man,” McQueen said. “He wants to be totally free.”
The 12 Years a Slave director theorized West’s desire for freedom from mental slavery:
“You know, for him to have an idea of something that he believes in or for him to choose against the majority of people, I imagine is his idea of being free I can do whatever I want to do,” he said.” Freedom of mental slavery, free from bondage. As a Black man, I understand that in the Western world. I don’t necessarily agree with how he is doing it but I know where it comes from.”
Steve McQueen’s film, Widows, arrives in theaters on November 16.