MRC has canceled its Kanye “Ye” West documentary, the company said Monday. The decision comes after outcry over the rapper’s anti-Semitic rants, which have already led to him being dropped by talent agent CAA and fashion label Balenciaga and locked out of his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” the rapper wrote on Oct. 10 in a now-deleted tweet, while also claiming that he “can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also.”
“This morning, after discussion with our filmmakers and distribution partners, we made the decision not to proceed with any distribution for our recently completed documentary about Kanye West. We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform,” MRC said in a letter shared with TheWrap.
“The silence from leaders and corporations when it comes to Kanye or anti-Semitism in general is dismaying but not surprising,” the letter also stated, likely referring to Adidas’ refusal to cut ties with Ye. “What is new and sad, is the fear Jews have about speaking out in their own defense.”
The letter was signed by founders Mordecai Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, and chief business officer Scott Tenley.
Here is the letter in full:
Re: Shelving of Our Kanye West Documentary and Two Important Lies
This morning, after discussion with our filmmakers and distribution partners, we made the decision not to proceed with any distribution for our recently completed documentary about Kanye West. We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform.
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. This song was performed a capella in the time of the Pharaohs, Babylon and Rome, went acoustic with The Spanish Inquisition and Russia’s Pale of Settlement, and Hitler took the song electric. Kanye has now helped mainstream it in the modern era.
Lies are an important part of all discrimination, and this one is no different. When well crafted, they create the illusion that the action is just, that the bigot is “punching up” at the victim. It’s critical to antisemites, who must explain why they are attacking a people that comprise less than half of one percent of the world’s population. Not a fair fight, numbers wise. But if the Jews are ultra-powerful because of secret evil plots, well, the argument is, it must be fair and ok.
The silence from leaders and corporations when it comes to Kanye or antisemitism in general is dismaying but not surprising. What is new and sad, is the fear Jews have about speaking out in their own defense.
Why is a group that has historically been brave and unreserved in its fight against antisemitism so quiet on Kanye?
Because of the emergence of a second lie – one that is at the center of what we call Antisemitism 2.0. It is brilliantly crafted, fast becoming part of mainstream thinking, and puts Jews is a terrible philosophical corner. That lie goes as follows:
If you support Israel’s right to exist, you are a racist.
If you are a Jew, you support Israel’s right to exist.
Therefore, if you are Jewish, you are a racist.
As leaders of this company (a Jew, a Muslim, and a Christian), we feel duty bound to say to all of you this is a pernicious, terrible use of false logic. It marries very well with the first “punching up” lie that all Jews are connected by conspiracy. And it is working, because many Jews are scared to speak up in defense of their religion, or Israel, for fear of being labelled racists. It is no more true than saying that if you support Palestine’s right to exist, you must be an antisemite.
For proof of how quickly a protest of Israel’s policies can jump to antisemitism, look no further than last week’s outrage at Wellesley College. The school is a historical bastion of liberalism and civil rights. But last week its newspaper editorial board saw fit not only to condemn Israel, but actually publish a MAP of Jewish places of worship, organizations and business in the area so that they could be targeted for protest – or worse. This would not be shocking from Neo-Nazis, but Wellesley?
The three of us want to make our position on this very clear.
*We support Palestine’s right to exist.
*We support Israel’s right to exist.
*Both nations represent a dream and an ideal for their peoples – one of safety, freedom, and prosperity.
*Both ideals are worthy of protection, even though we have significant objections to the policies of the governments of both nations.
*Objections to a nation’s government do not constitute grounds for discrimination against that nation’s citizens or supporters.
*We uniformly reject any assertion that we, our colleagues, or anyone else is bigoted or racist based on their support for the sovereignty and existence of any country, all of which have flaws.
If you hear or encounter the perpetuation of these intolerances and falsehoods, please let us know. It is totally unacceptable. And to those who are afraid to use their voice, hopefully this encourages you to do so.
Asif, Modi, Scott
Ye apologized for causing “hurt and confusion” with his anti-Semitic comments on Oct. 19, saying,
“I will say I’m sorry for the people that I hurt with the ‘Death Con’ — the confusion that I caused,” the artist formerly known as Kanye West told Piers Morgan on his TalkTV show. “I feel like I caused hurt and confusion. And I’m sorry for the families of the people that had nothing to do with the trauma that I have been through, and that I used my platform, where you say hurt people hurt people, and I was hurt.”