Adidas had worked with West, who legally changed his name to Ye, on his Yeezy brand since 2013. The company cut ties after Ye made numerous racist and antisemitic comments, and after it was revealed that he showed a pornographic video to executives in a meeting.
A spokesperson for Adidas confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it is investigating claims in an anonymous letter that senior leadership was aware of West’s “problematic behavior” but “turned their moral compass off.” The letter, written by members of staff at Yeezy and Adidas, was first reported by Rolling Stone.
“It is currently not clear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true,” the spokesperson for Adidas said. “However, we take these allegations very seriously and have taken the decision to launch an independent investigation of the matter immediately to address the allegations.”
In the clip, West tells one of the executives that the male actor in the video has a similar sounding voice to him, prompting them to ask, “Is this a porn movie?” to which West responds, “yes.”
The executive then pushes West’s arm away, and his representative later tells the Adidas staff that Ye had shown them the porn because of the way he feels he has been treated by the brand. West had previously accused Adidas of stealing his ideas.
“What you’re feeling right now is extreme discomfort, and that is exactly the point,” the representative told the executives. “Because when someone steals this man’s ideas, his creations — it’s like you’re stealing a child. These are all children of his mind, and you’ve kidnapped them.”
An Adidas spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the company does not tolerate “hate speech and offensive behavior.”
“We have been and continue to be actively engaged in conversations with our employees about the events that lead to our decision to end the partnership. They have our full support, and as we’re working through the details of the termination,” they added.