April 14, 2024
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Kanye West’s Antisemitic Comments Face Serious Blowback

Kanye West’s net worth dropped from $2 billion to $400 million after Adidas ended its “Yeezy” brand partnership with the rapper on Tuesday, October 25, according to a report from Forbes.

West—who now goes by “Ye”— had previously bragged that “I can say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me” in a podcast interview.

This followed a tweet by West earlier this month in which he said he was going to go “death con 3” on Jewish people, and that he is not antisemitic because “Black people are actually Jew[s] also.” This led to his Twitter and Instagram accounts being restricted, and his antisemitic posts removed.

According to Forbes, his deal with Adidas made up $1.5 billion of his net worth, with the German sporting goods giant getting about 4% to 8% of its sales from Yeezy products. Adidas faced tremendous pressure to terminate its relationship with West prior to its decision.

The company announced it had “immediately” ended its partnership with West, saying in a statement, “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.

“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect,” the statement continued.

Also on Tuesday, the film and television studio MRC announced that it will halt plans to distribute its recently completed Kanye West-themed documentary, as the fallout from West’s series of antisemitic comments continues.

Affirming that it “cannot support any content that amplifies his platform,” MRC noted how Ye recently “sampled and remixed a classic tune that has charted for over 3,000 years—the lie that Jews are evil and conspire to control the world for their own gain.”

While the Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, Spaniards (during the Inquisition), Russians (during the Pale of Settlement) and Nazis all promoted this antisemitic canard, MRC said Ye “has now helped mainstream it in the modern era.”

“Lies are an important part of discrimination, and this one is no different,” MRC stated, adding, “The silence from leaders and corporations when it comes to Kanye or antisemitism in general is dismaying but not surprising. What is new and sad, is the fear Jews have about speaking out in their own defense.”

With West’s professional relationships dissolving, sponsors continued to drop him. Gap on Tuesday also announced that it would no longer be selling his Yeezy brand, removing all traces online and in stores. West’s company, Donda Sports, a sports agency that helps athletes with their off-field marketing efforts, lost two professional athletes as clients on Tuesday as well, as the LA Rams’ Aaron Donald and Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown terminated their association with West’s agency.

Donald’s statement said in part: “The recent comments and displays of hate and antisemitism are the exact opposite of how we choose to live our lives and raise our children. We find them to be irresponsible and go against everything we believe in as a family.

“As parents and members of society, we felt a responsibility to send a clear message that hateful words and actions have consequences and that we must do better as human beings. We do not feel our beliefs, voices and actions belong anywhere near a space that misrepresents and oppresses people of any background, ethnicity or race,” the statement continued. It was signed by both Donald and his wife.

On Monday, Hollywood talent agency CAA ended its relationship with West. Balenciaga and JPMorgan Chase also cut ties with the rapper. Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo called him out in an interview in which West complained about a “Jewish underground media mafia.”

In response to West’s comments, the Holocaust Museum of Los Angeles invited him for a private tour, saying, “Words matter and words have consequences Ye. We urge you to come visit us at Holocaust Museum LA to understand just how words can incite horrific violence and genocide.” West declined the invitation, which sparked messages to the museum “filled with hate, threats, and vitriol.”

West’s comments have led others to disseminate antisemitic rhetoric in the Los Angeles area. Sand-filled bags filled with antisemitic flyers were placed on the lawns of residents in Beverly Hills, Westwood and Bel Air; and an antisemitic banner reading “Kanye is right about the Jews” was hung by the Goyim Defese League on the 405 Freeway.

The mayors of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, as well as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) immediately called out West and spoke forcefully against the resulting displays of hate and antisemitism. Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz also introduced a resolution, seconded by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, for Los Angeles to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism in order to “expand the tools we have to fight this bigotry,” Blumenfield said in a statement.

Despite the fallout, in a recent interview with Piers Morgan, West said he is “absolutely not” sorry about the initial tweet, although he did apologize for causing “confusion.”

By Jewish Link Staff and combined sources

 

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