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German sports brand Adidas has announced the end of its highly lucrative partnership with Kanye West following mounting pressure from the public to end the deal over the rapper’s antisemitic and other offensive comments.
In a statement confirming the end of the deal, Adidas said that it did not tolerate antisemitism or 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 said.
The decision to part ways with the rapper and designer, who now goes by the name Ye, is to take immediate effect, with Adidas announcing that it will end production of Yeezy-branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. This is expected to cause a shortfall of $246 million in the company’s revenue for the year. Further details on the financial health of the company will be delivered on Nov. 9.
Representatives for Ye did not immediately returned BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.
Earlier this month, Adidas issued a statement announcing that its multibillion-dollar partnership with Ye was under review after his repeated posts on social media attacking company executives and a stunt during his YZY SZN 9 runway show at Paris Fashion Week, which featured “White Lives Matter” T-shirts.
“After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review,” Adidas said.
On Tuesday, Gap also announced that it is taking action to remove all Yeezy Gap products from its retail outlets.
“In September, Gap announced ending its Yeezy Gap partnership,” the company said in its statement. “Our former partner’s recent remarks and behavior further underscore why. We are taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product from our stores and we have shut down YeezyGap.com.
“Antisemitism, racism and hate in any form are inexcusable and not tolerated in accordance with our values. On behalf of our customers, employees and shareholders, we are partnering with organizations that combat hate and discrimination.”
The RealReal, a clothing resale market, also announced Tuesday that it would no longer allow sellers to list Yeezys or any Ye items on its site.
“Over the past eleven years, The RealReal has celebrated the diverse community that we have built, and we are wholeheartedly proud to be a part of,” the company said in a statement. “Since our founding, we’ve been committed to creating a safe space for every employee, consignor and customer – regardless of age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and race – and we will not tolerate any disparaging remarks that demonstrate discrimination or calls for violence. Kanye West’s recent behavior at Paris Fashion week and the comments he made regarding the Jewish community are not only offensive, but are harmful and go against everything we believe in.”
Ye’s antisemitic rants resulted in him having his social media accounts temporarily restricted. In a now-removed tweet, Ye wrote that he planned to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” sparking strong backlash from Black and Jewish communities.
In an excerpt from a now-removed episode of Drink Champs, the 45-year-old bragged that the brand couldn’t sever ties, implying that he represented too much value. “I can literally say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me… Now what?” Ye said.
The clip was widely circulated online, with critics, including Friends actor David Schwimmer, challenging Adidas to take action. He posted the clip along with the message “Now what,” directed at the Adidas Instagram account.
Online, consumers used the trending hashtag #BoycottAdidas to apply further pressure on the brand, while Adidas employees began to slowly voice their frustration with their employer on platforms like LinkedIn.
“As a member of the Jewish community, I can no longer stay silent on behalf of the brand that employs me. Not saying anything, is saying everything,” wrote Sarah Camhi, a trade marketing director for Adidas.
“We have dropped adidas athletes for using steroids and being difficult to work with but are unwilling to denounce hate speech, the perpetuation of dangerous stereotypes and blatant racism by one of our top brand partners,” Camhi said in her post, which has since gone viral.
The Yeezy brand became part of the Adidas portfolio in 2013 and accounts for close to 10% of its annual revenue.
According to the statement confirming the end of the collaboration, Adidas remains the “sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership.”
Adidas joins the growing list of brands and companies distancing themselves from Ye, including Balenciaga, his now-former agents at CAA, Def Jam, and Vogue magazine.
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