UTA Head Calls for Boycott of Kanye ‘Ye’ West: ‘We Can’t Support Hate Speech, Bigotry or Anti-Semitism’

Co-founder and CEO Jeremy Zimmer addressed his United Talent Agency staff by email Sunday

Jeremy Zimmer and Kanye West
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

United Talent Agency’s co-founder and CEO Jeremy Zimmer has joined a growing list of Hollywood executives calling for a boycott of Kanye “Ye” West following his various anti-Semitic comments on social media and in interviews.

Via a memo to the UTA staff on Sunday evening with the subject line “Rise of Anti Semitism and Hate,” Zimmer emphasized the need to stand against “hate speech, bigotry or anti-Semitism.” The move comes after Ye’s comments incited a public display of anti-Semitism across the 405 highway with banners reading, “Kanye is right about the Jews.”

The response comes weeks after Ye tweeted he would go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” referring to the military readiness condition “DEFCON,” which kickstarted his lock from Instagram and Twitter in response to his hateful comments and sent him to right-wing platforms like Parler, which he is in motion to purchase. Subsequent interviews with the likes of Tucker Carlson and Piers Morgan have showcased similarly hateful rhetoric.

Zimmer’s memo follows the Oct. 19 Financial Times op-ed by Endeavor’s Ari Emmanuel, which similarly denounced Ye’s latest comments. “Those who continue to do business with West are giving his misguided hate an audience,” he wrote. “There should be no tolerance anywhere for West’s anti-Semitism.”

Read Zimmer’s memo in full below:

I’m saddened to write that once again we’re seeing a surge in anti-Semitism in our communities, fueled by Kanye’s comments and a resulting in an incident in Los Angeles yesterday where hateful banners were placed over the 405 freeway.  

Regrettably, anti-Semitism, racism and many forms of hate and intolerance are part of the fabric of society. Generally, they live as a plague eroding the health of communities and are combatted by understanding, tolerance and the general goodness of most people.

But throughout history some have used their public platform to spew the plague out loud and spread the contagion to dangerous effect. Kanye is the latest to do so, and we’re seeing how his words embolden others to amplify their vile beliefs. I’ve also seen copies of horribly anti-Semitic flyers left this weekend on the doorsteps of homes in L.A. neighborhoods, showing that the 405 banners are not the end of it. 

Equally worrying is what is happening on college campuses, where concern and debate about Zionism becomes veiled anti-Semitism. Wellesley College recently has been at the epicenter of this dilemma.  The Wellesley newspaper recently supported a mapping project showing the nearby Jewish owned businesses, and suggesting that they be boycotted. The assumption being that because they are owned by Jews, they must be anti-Palestine. This is the kind of dangerous thinking that can lead to inflaming anti-Semitism and hate, and there have been examples of it at other schools.   

Whether it’s signs on the 405 in Los Angeles, flyers on doorsteps, mapping Jewish businesses in Boston, or marching with hoods and crosses, all of these behaviors ignite the embers of bigotry, and they must not be tolerated.  

As a company we stand for a wide diversity of voices and ideas. But we can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-Semitism. Please support the boycott of Kanye West. Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful things. Let’s not be lulled into thinking this time it’s different.