So Adidas Has Dropped Ye, What Exactly Does It Mean?
In the span of two weeks, Kanye West has been dropped from nearly every lucrative partnership he has over his recent anti-Black and antisemitic comments.
One of the rapper’s biggest partnerships is with Adidas for his fashion brand Yeezy.
After mounting pressure to drop Ye, Adidas has come out this week declaring they have cut ties with him. But what exactly does this mean?
Adidas has denounced Ye’s antisemitic comments and any other sort of hate speech, and revealed that after thorough review have cut ties with Ye and will immediately cease production of Yeezy.
Just earlier this month, the Yeezy show at Paris Fashion Week attracted vast criticism after Ye and some of his models wore ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts.
Yeezy, which was previously with Nike, joined forces with Adidas in 2013 and has generated an estimated $2 billion a year, roughly 10 percent of Adidas’ annual revenue.
The decision to drop the deal is expected to cost Adidas an estimated $390 million (Australian dollars) of its net income for 2022.
As for Ye, the deal was worth $1.5 billion dollars of his net worth. Literally in the space of hours Forbes has already declared the rapper is no longer a billionaire showing the power of brands holding the problematic figure to account. Yet, the response to Adidas has been mixed.
On the one hand, people on social media are backing the company for taking the time to make such a significant decision that will cost them millions.
And on the other hand organisations and media figures aren’t happy that the mega brand dragged their feet on the move.
The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, an organisation dedicated to combatting antisemitism, released a statement saying that Adidas cutting ties with West sends a powerful message that antisemitism and bigotry have no place in society. But they also expected Adidas to act on it sooner.
Without a doubt, @adidas has done the right thing to #RunAwayFromHate by cutting ties with Ye after his vicious antisemitic rants. In the end, Adidas’ action sends a powerful message that antisemitism & bigotry have NO place in society. My full statement: https://t.co/5OO15W8ElX pic.twitter.com/r3fAYgOhvP
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) October 25, 2022
Prior to Adidas, Ye’s talent agency said they would no longer represent him. Balenciaga, Gap and JP Morgan have all also cut ties with the fashion designer.
Even a new and completed documentary about Kanye West has been shelved by entertainment company MRC, who are behind the distribution of films like Persuasion, and Knives Out.
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Only on the weekend in LA, an anti-Jewish group held a banner from a LA highway overpass that read “Kanye is right about Jews” highlighting how quickly Ye’s brazen antisemitic attacks have spread.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) October 23, 2022
Of course this incident isn’t isolated. For years West has used his enormous platform to share hate speech, racist conspiracy theories, and publicly harass his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her now ex boyfriend Pete Davidson.
Since the latest antisemitic comments, Kim Kardashian has spoken out as well as her sisters, against him.
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.
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) October 24, 2022
While Ye and Kim have both openly discussed his struggles with mental health and how the rapper was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, advocates and medical experts are finally pointing out his bigotry and mental illness are separate problems.
Just like Roxane Gay pointed out on Twitter, “Anti-semitism is not a symptom of mental illness” and so we should stop Kanye’s extremely problematic behaviour.
Also, Kanye has shown us who he is, repeatedly. Anti-semitism is not a symptom of mental illness. He is a bigot. He says whatever the hell he wants and people treat him like a harmless amusement. But there is nothing harmless about us anti-semitism, racism and misogyny.
— roxane gay (@rgay) October 10, 2022