Adidas has cut ties with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, following intense pressure for the company to drop its partnership with the musician over his recent antisemitic outbursts.
On Tuesday, the brand shared a public statement claiming the company does “not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.”
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“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,” wrote Adidas.
The 45-year-old rapper and business owner had his Twitter account restricted this month after he tweeted that he would go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” (A reference to the defence readiness condition — DEFCON — used by the United States Armed Forces.) The tweet was removed for violating the app’s hate speech policy.
Ye’s Instagram account had earlier been restricted after he publicly suggested rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs was controlled by Jewish people.
Adidas claimed they will immediately stop production of all Yeezy branded products and halt any payments to Ye.
The brand predicted the severance from Ye will cause a short-term negative impact of up to €250 million (about $339 million) on the company’s fourth quarter income.
Adidas is the most recent company to cut ties with Ye. Over the last month, Balenciaga, Vogue, the record label Def Jam, the major talent agency CAA and the movie studio MRC (who had financed and filmed a documentary about Ye) have all separated from the artist.
In September, Ye himself ended a 10-year contract with Gap after only two years because of “substantial noncompliance.”
The already loud public call for brands to drop Ye was amplified this week when an antisemitic hate group was accused of hanging several banners over a Los Angeles highway that read “Honk if you know Kanye is right about the Jews.”
Also, this week, Ye’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian spoke out publicly against her former husband’s antisemitic comments. Kardashian tweeted, “Hate speech is never OK or excusable. I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.”
Ye, who is bipolar, is no stranger to public scandal. At the start of October, Ye inspired outrage for the “White Lives Matter” shirts he and several others wore at his Yeezy Season 9 event during Paris Fashion Week.
International civil rights law organization the Anti-Defamation League has defined “White Lives Matter” as “a white supremacist phrase.” They claim the slogan emerged as “a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement.”
On Oct. 17, it was announced that Ye would also purchase the controversial, conservative social networking site Parler. Parler, which advertises itself as “the premier global free speech platform,” is often viewed by its predominately right-wing users as an alternative to existing social media options like Twitter or Facebook.
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