Kanye West: Timeline Of Controversies As Adidas Cut Ties, Loses Billionaire Status


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Adidas has booted the rapper and fashionista extraordinaire formerly known as Kanye West off the billionaire’s list.

After a series of appearances showing questionable behavior and rhetoric — including antisemitic tirades — the German athletic brand severed its relationship with Ye.

“I can say anti-Semitic s**t and Adidas cannot drop me,” said Ye on the Drink Champs podcast earlier this month. Kanye had been working with Adidas since 2013. His Yeezy line was expensive, unique, and broadly well-received.

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Despite this bizarre reasoning, brands and celebrities alike stood up against his antisemitic rhetoric, including his ex-wife Kim Kardashian. 

Kardashian wrote on her Instagram Story (via The Neighborhood Talk);

Hate speech is never OK or excusable. I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards the to come to an immediate end.

Others celebrities have also spoken out against Ye’s antisemitic comments, including former collaborator John Legend and actor Reese Witherspoon.

For weeks Adidas remained silent from the outside pressure until today.

The company stated in a press release;

Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism 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.

After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payment to Ye and his companies.

Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.

The $1.5 billion value of the Adidas deal jump-started Kanye and his brand; without Adidas, he is worth $400 million.

Adidas wasn’t the only company to cut Ye. Gap terminated its Yeezy partnership in September; earlier this month, JP Morgan did too. These companies thought they were avoiding financial repercussions; however, Adidas stock continues to fall, 6.7% as of this morning and 67.1% year-to-date.

Kanye doesn’t appear to be finished. After getting locked out of Twitter and Instagram, he closed a deal to purchase Parler, the right-wing social media site. His first post on Parler was just five days ago.


Timeline Before Getting Dropped By Adidas 

Ye has sparked no shortage of controversy since 2016, when he was hospitalized in Los Angeles because of what his team called stress and exhaustion. It was later revealed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He recently suggested slavery was a choice and called the COVID-19 vaccine the “mark of the beast,” among other comments.

Oct. 3

Kanye West, now known legally as Ye, held a last-minute show at Paris Fashion week. At the Yeezy Season 9 event, Kanye and political commentator Candace Owens wore “White Lives Matter” T-shirts—which prompted feedback and criticism from those who were in attendance, such as Jaden Smith and Vogue contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson.

Karefa-Johnson took to her Instagram to write that featuring “White Lives Matter” T-shirts in the runway show was “incredibly irresponsible and dangerous.” Her opinion sparked a response from West, who then posted several photos of her while making negative comments about her sense of style.

Celebs then came to Karefa-Johnson’s defense, including model Gigi Hadid, who commented under West’s Oct. 4 Instagram post that he is “a bully and a joke.” Vogue also issued a statement standing by Karefa-Johnson from West’s “bullying.”

Oct. 5

Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs posted a video on Instagram saying he didn’t support West’s “White Lives Matter” shirt, and urged people not to buy it. On Instagram, Ye posted a screenshot of a text conversation with Diddy and suggested he was controlled by Jewish people, according to media reports.

Oct. 6

Kanye sat down for an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, which aired on the Oct. 6 episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” In this interview, West made comments about Lizzo’s weight, said Corey Gamble and Karefa-Johnson were “practically made in a laboratory” and discussed his decision to wear a “White Lives Matter” shirt.

At the same time, Adidas said it was reviewing its relationship with Kanye.

“After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review. We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period,” the company said in a statement.

Kanye responded to a CNBC story on the Adidas statement with an explicit Instagram post, in which he wrote “F——– ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS.”

Oct. 8

Instagram locked out posts by the rapper-entrepreneur over content violations.

Oct. 9

West’s Twitter account was locked over antisemitic posts that the social network said violated their policies.

His comments drew a sharp rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, which called West’s tweet “deeply troubling, dangerous, and antisemitic, period.”

“There is no excuse for his propagating of white supremacist slogans and classic antisemitism about Jewish power, especially with the platform he has,” a statement said.

Oct. 15

The hip-hop podcast “Drink Champs” released an interview with the rapper and fashion designer, who now goes by Ye, in which he questioned the cause of George 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 9½ minutes and was convicted of murder. Chauvin also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

Oct. 17

West offers to buy right-wing friendly social network Parler shortly after getting locked out of Twitter and Instagram for antisemitic posts.

“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” said Kanye, in a statement released by Parler.

On the same day, Kanye continues to make antisemitic comments in an interview with Chris Cuomo.

Oct. 24

A completed documentary about the rapper has been shelved, MRC studio executives Modi Wiczyk, Asif Satchu and Scott Tenley announced in a memo.

“We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform,” the memo read.

Ye’s talent agency, CAA, has dropped him as well.

Ye’s estranged wife, Kim Kardashian, and other members of her family, condemned antisemitism.

Oct. 25

Adidas ended its lucrative partnership with the rapper over his offensive and antisemitic remarks.

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”

Gap said Tuesday that it is also taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product from its stores and has shut down yeezygap.com in light of West’s comments. The clothing retailer said that in September it was ending their relationship but at the time, it said that it planned to continue to sell Yeezy Gap products that were in the pipeline.


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