In recent weeks, retailers, social media platforms, celebrities, and fashion and entertainment companies have walked away from business alliances with rapper Ye.
Ye, also known as Kanye West, has become a controversy magnet.
In early October, Ye wore a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt and dressed several black models with the same phrase during his YZY show at Paris Fashion Week.
In a 45-minute “Drink Champs” podcast episode that aired earlier this month, the rapper made many outrageous comments that caused real financial repercussions for him and his brand partners. On the podcast, West said, “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t let me go. Now what?” He also suggested that George Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose rather than police brutality. And here he repeated several anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, doubling down on them in later interviews.
Later, West threatened on Twitter to “Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE”.
Since Ye’s anti-Semitic comments, companies have come under pressure to take further action against him. Here are the companies cutting ties with Ye.
On Monday, Adidas ended its partnership with Ye, also known as Kanye West, with “immediate effect”.
In a statement, the sportswear maker said it “does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other type of hate speech” and said its recent comments were “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous.”
Adidas said it violated the company’s “values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness”.
Sales and production of his Yeezy-branded products ceased along with payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas said it would take a 250 million euro ($246 million) hit to its fourth-quarter sales.
The rapper said he was ending his rocky two-year relationship with Gap on Sept. 15, citing “substantial disrespect.” Ye said he had “no choice but to end their collaboration,” alleging the company failed to open Yeezy-branded stores and distribute its merchandise as planned, his lawyer said in a statement.
“The way we work together to achieve this vision is not aligned. And we are deciding to end the partnership,” Gap Brand President and CEO Mark Breitbard said in an internal email.
However, you can still see Yeezy Gap products on the Gap site. The retailer said existing items will continue to be sold, including upcoming collections in the fall and first half of 2023.
A spokesperson for Meta (FB) said content from Ye’s account was removed for violating company policies and a restriction was placed on his account, also on October 7. Although Meta (FB) did not elaborate on the content, West shared a post that was criticized as anti-Semitic.
Afterwards, West made a return to Twitter after nearly two years away from the social media platform — that didn’t last long either.
Twitter (TWTR) has locked its account following an anti-Semitic tweet posted on October 8.
In the since-deleted tweet, West said he was “gonna die asshole 3 [sic] On JEWS,” and also that “you played with me and tried to blacklist anyone who opposes your agenda,” without specifying which group he was addressing, according to Wayback Machine records of Internet Archive excerpted by CNN.
Kanye’s anti-Semitic comments were also the final straw for luxury fashion house Balenciaga, which cut ties over the weekend. He had collaborated with Balenciaga for a hugely popular Yeezy Gap line earlier this year.
“Balenciaga no longer has any relationship or future plans related to this artist,” Kering, Balenciaga’s parent company, said in a statement to WWD.
The prominent talent agency told CNN on Monday that Ye is no longer a client.
– CNN’s Jamiel Lynch, David Williams, Megan Thomas, Brian Fung, Oliver Darcy, Jordan Valinsky and Chloe Melas contributed to this report.
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