Clothing chain Gap Inc. said Tuesday that it was taking immediate steps to remove products from its Yeezy Gap line created in collaboration with Kanye West and shut down YeezyGap.com after the rapper’s anti-Semitic comments.
It comes shortly after Adidas ended its partnership with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, over his offensive and anti-Semitic remarks, the latest company to cut ties with Ye, and a decision the German sportswear company said that will affect her bottom line.
“Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other form of hate speech,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday. “Yeo’s recent comments and actions were unacceptable, hateful and dangerous and violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
The company faced pressure to cut ties with Ye, with celebrities and others on social media urging Adidas to act. Earlier in the month, she said she was inking a lucrative sneaker deal with the rated rapper.
The newest joint cutting company
Adidas said on Tuesday that it had conducted a “thorough review” and would immediately halt production of its Yeezy line and halt payments to Ye and his companies. The sportswear company said it expected to add up to 250 million euros (Cdn338.5 million) to its net profit this year from the move.
The move by Adidas, whose CEO Kasper Rorsted is stepping down next year, comes after Ye was suspended from Twitter and Instagram this month for anti-Semitic posts that the social networks said violated their policies.
He recently suggested that slavery is a choice and called the COVID-19 vaccine “the mark of the beast” among other things. He was also criticized for wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt at a Yeezy collection show in Paris.
Dropped by his agent
Ye’s talent agency, CAA, dropped him, and studio MRC announced on Monday that it was shelving a full-length documentary about him.
Fashion house Balenciaga cut ties with Ye last week, according to Women’s Wear Daily. JPMorganChase and Ye ended their business relationship, although a banking breakup was in the works before Ye’s anti-Semitic comments.
In recent weeks, Ye also ended his company’s relationship with Gap and told Bloomberg that he plans to cut ties with his corporate suppliers.
After being suspended from Twitter and Facebook, Ye offered to buy the conservative social network Parler.
The rapper, who has won 24 Grammy Awards, has developed a reputation less for his music and more for stirring up controversy since he was hospitalized in Los Angeles in 2016 for what his team called stress and exhaustion. It was later revealed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Jewish groups have pointed out the dangers of the rapper’s comments at a time of rising anti-Semitism. Similar incidents in the US reached an all-time high last year, the Anti-Defamation League said in a letter last week to Adidas urging it to part ways with Ye.
Protesters on a Los Angeles overpass on Saturday unfurled a banner praising Yeo’s anti-Semitic comments, sparking outrage on social media as celebrities and others said they were siding with Jews.
Jewish groups welcomed Adidas’ decision but said the move was overdue. The World Jewish Congress noted that during World War II, Adidas factories “produced supplies and weapons for the Nazi regime using slave labor.”
In Germany, where Adidas is based, the head of the country’s main Jewish group welcomed the company’s decision but said “the move was overdue”.
“I would have liked a clear position expressed earlier by German society, which was also involved with the Nazi regime,” Josef Schuster, chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement. “Adidas has done a lot to distance itself from its past and, like many sports brands, is one of those companies that runs big campaigns against anti-Semitism and racism. So an earlier separation from Kanye West would be appropriate.”
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