High-powered entertainment executive Ari Emanuel has called for businesses to stop dealing with Kanye West, now known as Ye, after a series of antisemitic remarks this month.
“Silence is dangerous,” Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel wrote in an op-ed published Thursday by the Financial Times. “It allows forms of hatred and racism, including anti-Semitism, to spread and become normalised. It coarsens and degrades our society and country.”
Apple and Spotify should stop streaming West’s music, and other companies should also stop doing business with him, wrote Emanuel, an entertainment industry super-agent.
But West seems unfazed by Emanuel’s repudiation.
West addressed Emanuel’s op-ed in an Instagram post on Thursday, writing: “Ari Emmanuel I lost 2 billion dollars in one day and I’m still alive. This is love speech I still love you God still loves you. The money is not who I am the people is who I am.”
Emanuel is far from the first to speak out against West’s anti-Semitic comments. Adidas, the main source of income for Ye’s brand Yeezy, on Tuesday announced an end to its partnership with the musician. This was after news of a video clip posted in mid-October and subsequently taken down in which West specifically called out the brand by saying he could “say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”
“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,” the company wrote in a statement.
The move will come at a price: “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.”
But critics slammed the company for being too slow to cut its ties with Ye.
Ye has stirred controversies for years and enjoyed massive success regardless, but it appears anti-Semitic comments he made this month will mean real damage to his reputation and wealth.
“If West would like to be educated about the history and consequences of anti-Semitism and the conspiracy theories he’s parroting, if he wants to reach out to religious leaders—including rabbis, Muslim leaders, Christian leaders—I’d be happy to help,” Emanuel wrote in his op-ed. “But until that happens, the leaders he’s doing business with need to speak up.”
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