Many high-profile individuals in the entertainment industry are publicly criticizing Kanye West after he proposed slavery was “a choice” made by African-Americans because it lasted 400 years. The controversial comment was made during an interview with TMZ.

During the show, TMZ staffer Van Lathan confronted West for his statement, labeling it “the absence of thought.” Others, including  prominent authors, artists and directors also stepped up to condemn the rapper by fact-checking his remarks or calling for an end to his dangerous comments.

The 40-year-old rapper would later try to clarify his statement. “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,” he tweeted. However, that did not stop the backlash from some of his contemporaries.