Kanye West: Adidas ends partnership with rapper over ‘hateful and dangerous’ comments

The brand called West’s comments ‘unacceptable, hateful and dangerous’

Kate Ng
Tuesday 25 October 2022 11:55 BST
Adidas ends partnership with Kanye West amid antisemitism backlash
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Adidas has officially ended its partnership with Kanye West over the rapper’s antisemitic comments.

The brand came under intense pressure to end the collaboration after West, known as Ye, claimed in a since-deleted interview with Drink Champs podcast that he could make antisemitic comments and he would still have Adidas’ support.

In a statement released on Tuesday (25 October), Adidas said: “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.”

Adidas joins Balenciaga in cutting ties with West, as well as Vogue, in the aftermath of his comments. Balenciaga announced on Friday (21 October) that it “no longer has any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist”.

Shortly afterwards, a spokesperson for Vogue told Page Six that neither the publication nor editor-in-chief Anna Wintour intended to work with the rapper going forward.

“Anna has had enough,” the source was quoted as saying. “She has made it very clear inside Vogue that Kanye is no longer part of the inner circle.”

“The thing about me and Adidas is, I could literally say antisemitic s*** and they can’t drop me,” the rapper is seen saying in the video. “I could say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”

Last week, Twitter and Instagram locked West’s accounts due to posts that were deemed antisemitic, including a tweet in which the rapper said he would soon go “death con 3 on Jewish people”.

According to the AP news agency, the now-removed tweet added: “You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone wheoever opposes your agenda.”

Kanye West has come under fire for a number of antisemitic remarks (AP)

On Instagram, West posted a screenshot of a text message exchange between him and Sean “Diddy” Combs in which he suggested the latter was being controlled by Jewish people.

It came after Diddy posted a video on Instagram urging his fans not to buy West’s “White Lives Matter” T-shirts, which he debuted in his Yeezy runway at Paris Fashion Week.

As a result of West’s remarks, a number of celebrities and other high-profile figures had urged Adidas to drop the rapper.

West’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian also condemned his remarks and said publicly that she “stands together with the Jewish community”.

In a tweet on Monday (24 October), she wrote: “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.”

According to The Spectator Index, Adidas’s shares fell by more than four per cent after the company announced the end of its partnership with West.

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