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Kanye West, accused of playing porn to adidas employees
via Instagram

Kanye West accused of forcing Yeezy staff to watch porn

In a new open letter, Yeezy employees allege that Ye used sexually explicit images – including videos of himself and Kim Kardashian – to create a ‘toxic and chaotic environment’

Following Kanye West’s split from adidas last month, amid a tirade of hate speech and his ongoing endorsement of right-wing politics, a report has emerged that claims the artist bullied Yeezy employees and used sexually explicit images – including pictures of Kim Kardashian and his own sex tapes – to play “mind games” with staff.

If you’ve been following West’s antics, you’ll know that these rumours have been swirling around on social media for some time, and footage of him showing porn to seemingly uncomfortable executives was even shared publicly in a 30-minute documentary last month. However, a damning open letter titled The Truth About Yeezy: A Call to Action for Adidas Leadership, shared by Rolling Stone this week, sees former members of the Yeezy team themselves attest to “the toxic and chaotic environment that Kanye West created”.

Notably, the allegations include “a very sick pattern of predacious behaviour toward women” who worked with West as part of the high-profile partnership between Yeezy and adidas, which was cut short by the latter last month due to the musician’s antisemitic remarks on social media.

“He has, in years past, exploded at women in the room with offensive remarks, and would resort to sexually disturbing references when providing design feedback,” the letter claims. Rolling Stone goes into more specific detail, including an incident in 2017 when West is said to have yelled at workers during a feedback session, then turned to a senior female employee and told her: “I want you to make me a shoe I can fuck.” The woman, who goes unnamed, took a leave of absence and later relocated to another role at adidas.

The open letter itself is directed to the adidas board, and aims to provide a voice for employees who “may be fearful of speaking up” (which wouldn’t be surprising, given West’s targeted and public harassment of individuals on social media in recent months).

In October, West showcased t-shirts with a “White Lives Matter” slogan at Paris Fashion Week, and tweeted – among other controversial statements – that he was going to go “death con 3 on Jewish people” amid the fallout. The artist has since been dropped by his talent agency, CAA, and JP Morgan Chase, while Balenciaga and GAP have also cut ties. He also received bans on Instagram and Twitter, though both accounts have since been reinstated.

Last weekend, West claimed that he would be selling hoodies from his collaborations with Balenciaga, adidas, and GAP for $20, in a video published by a celebrity news site. Some of the pieces are branded with the slogan “Ye24” to mark his second presidential run in 2024, which will apparently involve working with the alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos.