In 2015, at the height of Kimye’s chokehold on the fashion scene, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West debuted his first YEEZY fashion show in collaboration with German sportswear brand Adidas.
Now, Adidas have terminated their nearly decade-long partnership after he made a number of anti-Semitic statements, including a tweet calling for a “defcon 3 on all Jews”.
In a statement released by the company, Adidas declared that they “do 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,” it continued.
“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 payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.
“This is expected to have a short-term negative impact of up to €250 million on the company’s net income in 2022 given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter.
“Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colourways under the partnership.”
According to reports, the athleisure conglomerate’s partnership with Ye earned Adidas $2 billion dollars annually, which was 10% of the company’s total revenue.
As per Forbes, Ye’s net worth has dropped considerably since the termination came into immediate effect, with his fortune declining from $1.5b to $400 million.
Ye has been a polarizing figure throughout his entire career.
From calling slavery a “choice” to aligning himself with conservative right-wing figures including Candace Owens and publicly supported Trump’s presidency during his term, Ye’s political rhetoric has never failed to spark outrage.
However, public disdain and animosity for the rapper grew exceptionally when the rapper donned a ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt at his recent YZY SZN9 runway show during Paris Fashion Week.
The slogan, which is a racist spin on the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, has been claimed by alt-right and white supremist groups in the United States, with the Anti-Defamation League classifying it as hate speech.
Ye subsequently went on to discriminate against and call for violence on the Jewish community in various social media posts and in interviews.
Various public figures, including prolific stylist, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Gigi Hadid and even Ye’s estranged wife Kim Kardashian have publicly voiced their support for the Jewish community and denounced Ye’s deplorable behaviour.
Balenciaga and Gap, who both also were in partnership with the musician, have also terminated their respective contracts.
As we know, anti-Semitic threats do not exist in a vacuum. Proving the point, a group of alleged neo-Nazis took to a bridge in Los Angeles to display signs reading “Kanye West is right about the Jews” while performing the Nazi salute.
Regardless of Ye’s own politics, his violence threats and inciting of racial and anti-Semitic behaviour are inexcusable. Could the termination of these contracts signify the end of Ye’s career as we know it is nigh? Possibly.
But one thing is clear: our threshold for intolerable heinous acts of racism and anti-Semitism from A-listers is at an all time low.