US rapper Kanye West is possibly going through one of the most difficult periods of his life—he has lost his talent representation and several major fashion brands have ended ties with him in the past few weeks. A fallout from his recent anti-Semitic comments, the musician, who now goes by the name Ye, lost his billionaire status, according to reports.
One of his biggest losses is that the sportswear brand Adidas ended its partnership with the musician-turned-fashion entrepreneur. According to Forbes, the deal was worth $1.5 billion, forming the largest portion of Kanye’s wealth. Kanye has collaborated with Adidas since 2013 for his Yeezy line of sneakers and clothing. In a statement, the company said: “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other kind 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.”
Following Adidas’s move, the rapper was “escorted out” of the office of the Skechers shoe company on Wednesday, after he “turned up uninvited”. “Skechers is not considering and has no intention of working with West,” the company said in a statement.
In another significant move, Madame Tussaud’s removed its wax figure of the rapper from public view in London. Kanye’s booking agents at Creative Artists Agency dropped him as a client, while the movie and TV production studio MRC announced that it had shelved a Kanye documentary that had already been completed. French fashion brand Balenciaga has also severed ties with Kanye.
How it all started
Earlier this month, the rapper appeared at the Paris Fashion Show wearing a T-shirt that said ‘White Lives Matter’—a slogan that was created as a backlash against the Black Lives Matter campaign. Kanye received massive criticism for the Yeezy t-shirt from the fashion world, and from Vogue contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson who called the shirt “deeply offensive, violent and dangerous”. The criticism didn’t sit well with Kanye, who took to social media to target and bully Gabriella and her fashion choices. Adidas had initially put the partnership on review after this fiasco.
On October 8, Instagram restricted the rapper’s account after he posted anti-Semitic comments against rapper Diddy, whose real name is Sean Combs. Kanye said Diddy was “being controlled by Jews”, and shared screenshots of his conversation with Diddy who had criticized the ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt and urged people not to buy them. A day later, Kanye headed on to Twitter, for the first time since late 2020. He tweeted: “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE…The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jewish too. You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone who opposes your agenda.” The tweet was also taken down for violating community guidelines.
Kanye’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian came out in support of the Jewish community and condemned hate speech, though she did not mention the rapper by name. “Hate speech is never OK or excusable,” Kardashian wrote. “I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end,” she tweeted.