On Oct. 25, Adidas joined a growing list of companies that have ended their business dealings with Kanye “Ye” West over his antisemitic remarks. With the German sportswear brand out of the picture, Forbes says the rapper-entrepreneur is down $1.5 billion, shrinking his net worth to $400 million. (Ye claimed that he “lost 2 billion dollars in one day” in a Thursday Instagram post.)
However, the fallout from Ye’s tirades in recent weeks – including a threat to go “[def] con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE” – began long before Adidas pulled the plug, and shows no sign of slowing down.
After weeks of mounting pressure, Adidas finally called off its longstanding partnership with the Yeezy brand, halting production and payments to Ye effective immediately. The deal had been “under review” since the rapper wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt to Paris Fashion Week earlier this month.
“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,” said the company in a statement. The move will cost Adidas an estimated $250 million in net income.
Following the Adidas decision, Gap announced that it would remove Yeezy Gap products from stores and the Yeezy Gap website. “Our former partner’s recent remarks and behavior further underscore why we are taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product from our stores,” the retailer said in a statement.
Back in September, Ye moved to end their partnership two years into a ten-year contract, citing “substantial noncompliance.”
French fashion house Balenciaga terminated its relationship with Ye after already pulling out of its Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga line in July. Creative director Demna and Ye had previously collaborated on musical performances such as the rapper’s “Donda 2” listening event.
“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” the company said on Oct. 21. Balenciaga has since removed images of Ye at its Summer 2023 fashion show from its website.
JP Morgan Chase
In September, prior to the antisemitism scandal, the banking giant severed ties with Ye and his Yeezy brand. Ye had publicly criticized the company’s leaders via social media in the past. Following backlash to Ye’s remarks, conservative commentator Candace Owens tweeted a photo of a letter the bank sent to Ye informing him of its decision.
On Oct. 24, the studio announced that it was scrapping a completed documentary about Ye. In a memo explaining the decision, founders Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, along with chief business officer Scott Tenley said “the silence from leaders and corporations when it comes to Kanye or antisemitism in general is dismaying but not surprising.”
“Kanye is a producer and sampler of music. Last week he sampled and remixed a classic tune that has charted for over 3000 years – the lie that Jews are evil and conspire to control the world for their own gain,” the statement read. “… Kanye has now helped mainstream it in the modern era.”
In the wake of MRC’s announcement, Ye’s agency dropped him from its client roster. That same day, Jeremy Zimmer, the head of his former agency UTA called for a boycott of Ye. “Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful things,” he wrote in a memo to employees. “Let’s not be lulled into thinking this time it’s different.”
Shortly after the Adidas and Gap announcements, a spokesperson for Foot Locker stated that the company “will not be supporting any future Yeezy product drops, and we have instructed our retail operators to pull any existing product from our shelves and digital sites.” The retailer will remain in business with Adidas where other brands are concerned.
TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Marshalls
TJX – the parent company of TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Marshalls – said on Oct. 26 that it had instructed its buying teams “not to purchase this merchandise for sale in any of our stores globally.”
“At TJX we do not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or hate of any kind,” read the company’s statement.
Also on Oct. 26, luxury auction house Christie’s called it quits on a planned private sale of the Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype that Ye had worn to the Grammy Awards in 2008.
“We are not selling any of this material nor do we have any plans to,” a spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Madame Tussauds London
The museum’s London location has removed a wax figure of Ye from public view. The figure was first unveiled in tandem with a figure of Ye’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian in 2015.
“Ye’s figure has been retired from the attraction floor to our archive,” said a spokesperson. “Each profile earns their place at Madame Tussauds London and we listen to our guests and the public on who they expect to see at the attraction.”
Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe and Rottenstreich, the firm that had been representing Ye in his divorce from Kim Kardashian, told the Washington Post it was no longer working with him. Camille Vasquez, who also represents Johnny Depp, reportedly told her firm Brown Rudnick that she would not represent Ye days after they began working together. And on Oct. 26, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft – which had worked with him in September on terminating his Gap deal – dropped him as well.
Online resale site The RealReal followed Adidas’ lead and announced that it would no longer permit the sale of Yeezy products.
“The recent offensive comments that Kanye West made regarding the Jewish community are not only offensive, but go against absolutely everything that we stand for and believe in,” said the company. “As such, in response to these antisemitic messages and his actions, we are no longer accepting items associated with Kanye West or his brand, including Yeezy and Yeezy x Adidas.”