The Focus Should NOT Be On Kanye
Credit: Twitter
October 26, 2022

After Kanye West repeatedly made antisemitic comments, several companies he formerly did business with cut ties with the Grammy Award-winning rapper who now goes by Ye. The sportswear brand Adidas joined the list of those boycotting Ye on Tuesday. It already includes the luxury brand Balenciaga; talent agencies CAA, UTA, and Endeavor; Def Jam, which used to be linked to West's label G.O.O.D. Music; and MRC studio, which completed a documentary on West that it is now refusing to air, Forbes reported.

In many ways, the public pressure mounting against Adidas forced the hands of company leaders. They otherwise remained silent even after the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday that a hate group took to the 405 Freeway overpass to demonstrate support for West, which demonstrated his impact. It took Sarah Camhi, director of Trade Marketing at Adidas, calling out the company that employs her for Adidas to release a statement announcing a boycott.

I get it. That’s the way the world of big business works. Companies often don’t move until they have to. Now that Adidas has taken a stand against antisemitism, I support it. The problem I’m having is that the severing of ties seems to begin and end with West, who has publicly discussed being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Meanwhile, GOP pundits and trolls like Republican Candace Owens continue to enable West’s behavior and profit from it with no repercussions.

A Vogue Magazine spokesperson told Page Six on Friday that both the magazine and its editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, do not plan to work with Ye in the future. “Anna has had enough,” a person Page Six identified only as an insider reportedly said. “She has made it very clear inside Vogue that Kanye is no longer part of the inner circle.”

Adidas released a similar statement, saying the company “does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.”

Adidas continued in its statement:

“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.

After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.

This is expected to have a short-term negative impact of up to €250 million on the company’s net income in 2022 given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter.

The tweet that led to Adidas’ decision is one in which West claimed he was going to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” and that he “can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew.” 

West’s list of offenses also includes an appearance on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight, in which West called singer Lizzo's weight loss journey "demonic." And in widely publicized antics, West wore matching T-shirts centering the white supremacist phrase "White Lives Matter" alongside Owens at his Paris fashion show earlier this month. 

What was largely left out of the public conversation focused on criticizing West was a Los Angeles Times article reporting that Owens’ husband George Farmer stood to gain in a major way from his wife’s connection to West. Farmer is the chief executive officer of Parler, a social network favored by right-wing activists, and West plans to acquire the company, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Also less widely reported was West’s full interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight, which VICE News obtained and features footage of West spiraling, ranting, and jumping from topic to topic. In the footage, West told Carlson that he was going to be “the first Latino president” and that “fake children” were planted in his home to control his real children.

Carlson summarized in the interview that West is “not crazy,” “worth listening to,” and "getting bolder." House Republicans also shared their support of West, tweeting from the GOP House Committee on the Judiciary, “Kanye. Elon. Trump.”

I wouldn’t, however, run away with this idea of GOP support if I were West. Considering the timing, it appears to be opportunistic at best. Anyone who actually cares about West should walk away with a more nuanced interpretation of his recent media appearances and offer some heartfelt words of advice. 

Comedian and Daily Show host Trevor Noah did exactly that when asked trivially in behind-the-scenes footage of his show why he was “beefing” with Ye.

“I was never beefing with Kanye West,” Noah said. “I was concerned about Kanye West.”

The audience chuckled, but Noah wasn’t joking. He said to “platform” a person who is having a mental health episode and hasn’t taken their medication is “a little sh---y to be honest with you.”

“What I have beef with is us as a society not coming together around the person and going like, ‘Hey, maybe this is not the moment to put a microphone in your face so that you just go off saying everything,’” Noah said.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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