Adidas has joined a growing list of companies, brands and partners cutting ties with Kanye West.
The outspoken rapper has made a series of anti-Black and antisemitic comments both online and in interviews. In a statement issued by Adidas, referring to West by “Ye,” said: “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hat 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.”
Variety is reporting that Adidas estimates the move to break with West will impact their bottom line up to $246 million this year. West and Adidas created a fashion line called Adidas Yeezy in 2015. The move makes Adidas the sole owner of all design rights, which some marketing experts say is a warning to West to not reproduce the designs with a new manufacturer.
Hollywood talent agency CAA has dropped West as a client after the antisemitic comments. West’s remarks are said to have encouraged antisemitic demonstrators to gather on a 405 freeway overpass on Oct. 23 and hang banners praising West and were photographed giving Nazi salutes.
Balenciaga (designer shoes, handbags), the GAP and JP Morgan have also ended their relationships with West. As well, Variety reported that a completed documentary about West will be shelved in light of his comments.
The Greater Los Angeles Office of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) condemned West’s statements as well as his support from Neo-nazi groups:
“We are appalled by this disgusting display of antisemitism, particularly as it comes from a prominent figure in the media. Kanye West’s antisemitic statements have contributed to the already alarming rise in antisemitism that we are seeing in our society and must not be tolerated.”
In a related development, attorneys for George Floyd’s daughter and her mother have sent West a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that he refrain from commenting publicly about Floyd’s death as he did on Oct. 17.
The hip-hop podcast “Drink Champs” released an interview with West in which he questioned the cause of Floyd’s death, suggesting it was due to fentanyl use and not by Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and was convicted of murder. Chauvin also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights.
The interview is no longer available on the “Drink Champs” YouTube page, and one of the hosts of the podcast, rapper N.O.R.E., apologized this month to the Floyd family amid backlash.
“Mr. Floyd’s cause of death is well-settled through evidence presented in courts of law during the criminal and civil trials that were the result of his untimely and horrific death,” the attorneys’ letter said. “Nevertheless, you have maliciously made statements that are inaccurate and unfounded, causing damage to Mr. Floyd’s estate and his family.”
The letter demands that West, his attorneys, employees, agents, partners, associates and representatives “refrain from publishing or causing to be published any other audio, video, statement, post, etc. regarding” Floyd, his estate, his family and the circumstances surrounding his death, including, but not limited to, his manner of death.
West has been blocked from posting on Twitter and Instagram.