The same man who crusaded against cancel culture appears to have fallen victim to it through his own doings as the self-inflicted fountain of losses underscores the consequences of his reckless and intentional antisemitism.
The latest L was announced Tuesday morning when sports apparel giant Adidas officially severed ties with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. The company released a statement saying it could no longer be associated with Ye.
Adidas cuts off Ye
“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.”
The announcement came hours after a leader at Adidas expressed outrage that the company hadn’t moved on from Ye. Adidas trade marketing director Sarah Camhi noted in a viral post on LinkedIn that the company had “dropped” sports stars “for using steroids and being difficult to work with” but didn’t move as swiftly with Ye because he is “one of our top brand partners.”
Camhi issued an ultimatum to the company: “Until adidas takes a stand, I will not stand with adidas.”
The company finally acted on Tuesday, weeks after Ye – whose Yeezy line has earned Adidas billions of dollars – first displayed his admitted antisemitic ways when he vowed to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” because “You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
Since then, the antisemitic rhetoric has only gotten louder as networks raced to interview him and help amplify – and document – his hate speech toward both Jewish people and Black folks.
The result has been an avalanche of people, places and things distancing themselves from Ye as the billionaire appears on the verge of being completely canceled from the mainstream society he once courted.
Adidas was just fine with Kanye’s anti-Blackness
It wasn’t even four years ago when Kanye West said loudly that he thought 400 years of slavery sounded “like a choice.”
At the time, Adidas expressed displeasure with the comments but said it didn’t have any plans to drop its lucrative deal with Kanye.
“There clearly are some comments we don’t support,” Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said in 2018. He said Adidas planned to discuss the comments with the rapper, but nothing beyond that was mentioned.
Critics who read between the lines took Adidas’ allegiance with West
Adidas has partnered with West since 2013, in what has been one of its most significant business relationships with a non-athlete. The artist has designed the top-shelf Yeezy models that Adidas only offers in limited runs.
Severing ties with Ye is expected to cost Adidas about $246 million, according to the Associated Press.
It ‘All Falls Down’
Adidas’ announcement came on the heels of the legendary Hip-Hop record label Def Jam dropping Ye’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint from its roster on Monday. That same day, the top-ranked Hollywood talent agency CAA announced it was also parting ways with Ye.
Also on Monday, a prestigious Los Angeles-based law firm dropped Ye as a client after he refused to retract his continued antisemitic statements.
That came days after Balenciaga – an Italian fashion house Ye helped popularize – announced it “has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist.”
Last month, Ye took steps to end his lucrative Yeezy line partnership with Gap, which, in retrospect, seemingly set the stage for the above brands to sever ties amid the rapper’s antisemitism.
In addition to brands and companies moving away from Ye, the family of George Floyd sued him last week to the tune of $250 million for spreading “blatantly false statements about George Floyd’s death to promote his brands, and increase marketing value and revenue for himself, his business partners, and associates.”
Lest we forget that amid an antisemitic tirade on the controversial “Drink Champs” podcast this month, Ye also said the knee of convicted murderer and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin “wasn’t even on [Floyd’s] neck like that.” Ye also lied and said Floyd was killed because of fentanyl use, not the illegal neck restraint that millions of people saw Chauvin employ on a viral video from that fateful day.
Such lawsuits have a newly established precedent after a court brought down a judgment against right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that will cost him nearly $1 billion for claiming the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre was a hoax despite more than two dozen people being killed, including young children.
If Floyd’s family wins their case and Ye suffers the financial ramifications from his severed business deals, his coveted billionaire status — and his professional future — could be in more jeopardy than originally suspected.
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