Adidas silent as pressure mounts for company to drop Kanye West

Celebrities call on Adidas to end partnership with Kanye West after rapper's antisemitic comments.

Celebrities call on Adidas to end partnership with Kanye West after the rapper’s antisemitic comments. (Photo: Reuters)

As pressure mounts for brands to cut ties with Kanye West, the rapper’s biggest corporate partner remains awfully quiet: Adidas. But West’s former partner, Kim Kardashian, (sort of) broke her silence on Monday as CAA dropped West as a client.

Adidas started working with West in 2013, but after his “White Live Matter” stunt earlier this month, the company issued a statement saying it is reviewing the relationship. However, in the days that followed, the musician went on to spew antisemitic remarks and even taunted the company that it can’t sever ties with him. The Adidas-Yeezy partnership is one of the most successful fashion collaborations in recent years.

“I can say antisemitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what? Now what?” West declared on the Drink Champs podcast. (It’s the same podcast where he erroneously claimed George Floyd died from fentanyl, not police brutality. Floyd’s daughter plans to sue West for $250 million.)

West’s hateful rhetoric is landing with antisemitic groups as one rallied support for the Grammy winner and displayed the following sign on the busy Los Angeles 405 freeway on Saturday: “Kanye is right about the Jews.”

The Anti-Defamation League urged Adidas to end its relationship with West.

“In light of Kanye West’s increasingly strident antisemitic remarks over the past few weeks, we were disturbed to learn that Adidas plans to continue to release new products from his Yeezy brand without any seeming acknowledgment of the controversy surrounding his most recent remarks,” the group said in a statement.”We urge Adidas to reconsider supporting the Ye product line and to issue a statement making clear that the Adidas company and community has no tolerance whatsoever for antisemitism.”

David Schwimmer, Kat Dennings, Josh Gad and Valerie Bertinelli are among the stars publicly calling out Adidas to end the relationship. A Change.org petition has over 80,000 signatures and counting.

Adidas did not respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment on Monday.

Kim Kardashian has publicly remained silent over the controversial past three weeks. That changed on Monday, and while she didn’t call out the father of her four children directly, she posted a statement in support of the Jewish community.

Khloé Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kris Jenner posted similar messages on social media that read: “I support my Jewish friends and the Jewish people.”

CAA dropped West as a client, Variety confirmed on Monday. A completed documentary about the entrepreneur will be shelved in light of the controversy.

“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 studio executives Modi Wiczyk, Asif Satchu and Scott Tenley announced in a memo Monday.

“Kanye is a producer and sampler of music. Last week he sampled and remixed a classic tune that has charted for over 3,000 years — the lie that Jews are evil and conspire to control the world for their own gain,” they added. “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.”

Last week, Balenciaga became the first major company to drop West in the wake of the controversy. JPMorgan Chase ended its banking relationship with the fashion designer. Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, one of the most influential people in Hollywood, wrote an op-ed for Financial Times and urged companies — like list includes Apple, Spotify and Adidas — not to do business with West. Emanuel’s rivals came together in a show of unity.

Bob Gersh, head of Gersh Agency, spoke to Variety and supported Emanuel’s message.

“This is as low as it can get,” Gersh said of West’s recent comments. “This is the most blatant form of hatred and antisemitism one could imagine. It doesn’t get any worse than this. People really need to hammer these companies in business with him to impress upon them how wrong it is to support somebody like this. “

UTA co-founder and CEO Jeremy Zimmer followed suit, and in a company-wide memo, said the company supports “the boycott of Kanye West. Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful things.”

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