From Adidas to Balenciaga: Here are the brands and companies that have cut ties with Kanye West over his anti-semitism

Published 26 Oct, 2022 01:13pm

Ye closely worked with Adidas for their fashion collaboration Yeezy which launched in 2015.

<p>Photo: AFP</p>

Photo: AFP

American rapper Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, has sparked outrage for his anti-semitic remarks and his subsequent defence of them. But with his remarks came a landslide of criticism not only from celebrities but brands and companies that have now distanced themselves from the rapper. The latest is Adidas with whom he owns the brand Yeezy.

Ye’s anti-semitism

The reactions were sparked after a single tweet from Ye, which he has since refused to apologise for. In the tweet, he wished death upon the Jewish people and then added how “funny” it is that he “cannot be anti-semitic because people of colour are also Jew”. He claimed that people had “toyed” with him and tried to “blackball anyone whoever opposes” their agenda.

He was then criticised by model Bella Hadid for his tweet, who said said there’s no room for such behaviour and how “This is not okay. Anti-semitism, or targeting any innocent Jewish person anywhere will never be okay.”

His tweet sparked a movement in Hollywood with expressing their support for and solidarity with Jewish people and calling to boycott Ye. The pressure on social media was particularly harsh for Adidas, who did not immediately respond to the criticism.

On Tuesday, the athleisure brand issued a statement that they have chosen to part ways with Ye as the brand “does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.” This comes after Ye’s boasts that Adidas wouldn’t drop him no matter what he said.

“I could literally say anti-semitic sh*t and Adidas can’t drop me. I could say anti-semitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?” he said during a Drink Champs podcast.

However, Adidas is not the only brand or company to cut ties with the 45-year-old rapper. Here are some brands and companies that have severed connections with the ‘Heartless’ singer recently.

Adidas

German sportswear giant Adidas said on Tuesday it was ending its partnership with Ye after his series of anti-semitic outbursts.

They termed his comments “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous” in a statement. “After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately.”

Adidas said it would “end production” of the highly-successful Yeezy line designed together with Ye and “stop all payments to Ye and his companies”.

The abrupt end to the collaboration between the sportswear brand and rapper would slash Adidas’ net income in 2022 by “up to 250 million euros ($246 million)”, it estimated.

Along with Beyonce, Stella McCartney and Pharrell Williams, Ye’s has been one of the top names used by Adidas to boost sales, especially online.

Balenciaga

Paris-based fashion house Balenciaga ended ties with the rapper nearly a week ago, saying it “no longer (has) any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist.” Kering, the parent company of Balenciaga, announced the news in a statement to WWD.

The ‘Stronger’ singer opened Balenciaga’s recent show at Paris Fashion Week (PFW), wearing what appeared to be battle gear and a mouthguard. Images of him walking in the mud pit, the fashion ramp for PFW, have been removed from Balenciaga’s website.

Gap

The rapper and brand had ended their Yeezy Gap partnership last month, according to The Guardian, after the brand was “left no choice but to terminate their collaboration agreement because of Gap’s substantial noncompliance,” as per Ye’s attorney.

Now the company has issued a statement in light of his recent remarks and said, “In September, Gap announced ending its Yeezy Gap partnership. Our former partner’s recent remarks and behaviour further underscore why. We are taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product from our stores and we have shut down YeezyGap.com.”

Creative Artist’s Agency (CAA)

According to CBS News, Hollywood talent powerhouse Creative Artist’s Agency has cut ties with Ye over his anti-semitic remarks.

The agency officially dropped him as a client, a source told CBS MoneyWatch. CAA represented Ye only for his tours. He signed with the agency in 2016 but has not toured since.

Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich

The law firm that represented Ye in his divorce from socialite Kim Kardashian has now separated itself from the rapper.

“I can confirm we are no longer representing Ye,” attorney Robert Stephan Cohen wrote to The Washington Post on Tuesday.

JP Morgan Chase

According to The Washington Post, the bank split from Ye this month before the recent backlash about his anti-semitic remarks.

Conservative activist and Ye supporter Candace Owens had tweeted earlier this month a letter showing that the bank has ended its relationship with Ye’s brand Yeezy and has given him a month’s time to move to another bank.

TheIn its letter, the bank gave Ye time till November 21 to transfer his funds before the account closure.

Brown Rudnick LLC’s Camila Vasquez

Known as the lawyer who represented Johnny Depp in his very public trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, Camila Vasquez has dropped Ye as a client.

Her decision came after other brands announced they were doing the same. According to The Cut, the law firm Brown Rudnick was still willing to work with Ye as long as he retracts his anti-semitic remarks but per TMZ, Ye refused.

MRC

Hollywood financier MRC issued a statement on Monday and said it was ending their relationship with Ye. The statement starts off with the announcement that the company has shelved Ye’s documentary.

“This morning, after discussion with our filmmakers and distribution partners, we made the decision not to proceed with any distribution for our recently completed documentary about Kanye West. We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform,” read the statement.

They added that Ye is a producer and “music sampler” for the documentary and a week ago had sampled a “remixed version of a tune that charted over 300 years about Jews being evil and those who conspire to control the world for their own gain”. “This song was performed acapella in the time of the Pharaohs, Babylon and Rome, went acoustic with The Spanish Inquisition and Russia’s Pale of Settlement, and Hitler took the song electric. Kanye has now helped mainstream it in the modern era,” they wrote.

Vogue

Vogue editor Anna Wintour has no plans to work with Ye anymore, a spokesperson for the magazine told Page Six. The move, however, predates Ye’s anti-semitism. It came after he appeared at a Yeezy fashion show in Paris earlier this month where he wore a shirt with the slogan “White Lives Matter.” The phrase is a dog whistle to right-wing groups in the United States and a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement. His virulent response to criticism for Vogue’s fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson sparked widespread condemnation, especially from Gigi Hadid. Despite his apology, Vogue decided to cut ties after the incident.