After days of mounting criticism and speculation, it happened: Adidas terminated its Yeezy deal.
The move comes amid other brands and entities’ similar acts of distancing aimed at the artist formerly known as Kanye West, who has been widely called out in recent weeks in connection with (among other things) a series of remarks slammed as anti-Semitic. Fans, as noted in this piece by Complex’s Jessica McKinney, have also criticized Ye over his string of concerning comments.
But the latest run of controversies extends back a bit further than that, at least to earlier this month when Ye featured a “white lives matter” design as part of the YZY SZN 9 presentation in Paris. From there, Ye shared an IG update calling Black Lives Matter “a scam,” with a fleet of ensuing responses noting that the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and the Black Lives Matter movement itself are two different things.
Subsequent interviews and social media updates also received widespread coverage, including a later-removed Drink Champs episode that spurred the announcement of a potential $250 million lawsuit on behalf of the late George Floyd’s daughter. Thought not confirmed, Ye, during an interview with Chris Cuomo on NewsNation that took place earlier this month, claimed that SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California canceled four scheduled shows he had set up following his much-criticized comments.
Tucked in at the end of a recent long-form interview with Lex Fridman, notably, was Ye stating he was “sorry for hurting you, as a Jewish person,” although earlier in the same interview he delivered remarks similar to those for which he’s been widely called out.
While some attempted to posit that JPMorgan Chase cut ties with Ye over his anti-Semitic remarks, TMZ shared a report amid related coverage pointing out that this was, in fact, not the case.
Per the outlet, the move from the investment banking company is reported to have actually been made weeks earlier in response to Ye himself having expressed his dissatisfaction with their arrangement. A separate report from the Associated Press noted the same.
As was the case with JPMorgan Chase, the Ye-related developments coming from Def Jam actually precede the current moment.
In a statement to THR, a Universal Music Group rep noted that the label’s relationship with Ye, as well as its partnership with GOOD Music and a Bravado merch deal, had all come to a close last year.
Ye’s Donda sequel, his most recent album, was self-released as a Stem Player exclusive earlier this year. Aside from Donda 2, all of Ye’s studio releases have been distributed through Def Jam, including the original Donda.
Below, we take a look at a number of brands and companies that have announced they were taking action with regards to their respective relationships with Ye, who was also recently revealed to be buying the right-wing social media platform Parler.