Kanye West has flown too close to the sun. Not content with his dangerous behaviour at Paris Fashion Week, the musician took to Twitter last week in a revolting display of antisemitism, claiming that he was going to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” He was then locked from using Twitter and Instagram, with a groundswell of people calling on his business partners to speak-out and take action – with most attention being directed towards adidas, which has collaborated with West on his Yeezy imprint since 2015. Demands increased when West appeared on the Drink Champs podcast, during which he said: “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”
Following a period of silence, where #boycottadidas began to trend on Twitter and people burnt three-stripe products, as of this morning, the German sportswear behemoth has officially severed ties with West. “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,” read an accompanying statement. “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 company follows the example of Balenciaga and JP Morgan Chase, both of which have already ended their working relationship with West. “Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” a representative for Kering said last week. Much of the controversy surrounding adidas’ supposed reticence to break away from Yeezy was based on the label’s finances, which it was careful to clear-up in its announcement. “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,” it said. “adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership.” More news is expected to arrive during adidas’ next earnings announcement in November.