Ye, fka Kanye West, Spirals Downward as More Brands Cut Ties

The footwear company is the latest of many to cut ties with West following his antisemitic hate speech
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As Ye continues digging himself into a hole as vast and jaw-dropping as the Grand Canyon, the Sketchers shoe company has joined the roster of companies cutting ties with the artist formerly known as Kanye West.

The brand’s break comes after Ye was escorted out of Sketchers’ headquarters on Wednesday after he showed up unannounced with a film crew in tow. The footwear company released a statement about the encounter: “Considering Ye was engaged in unauthorized filming, two Skechers executives escorted him and his party from the building after a brief conversation.

“Skechers is not considering and has no intention of working with West,” the company went on to assure the public in the statement. “We condemn his recent divisive remarks and do not tolerate antisemitism or any other form of hate speech.”

Balenciaga, the Gap and JP Morgan have also ended their relationships with the artist, with Skechers’ decision coming just a day after Adidas also cut ties with the rapper, citing Ye’s antisemitic comments and his Tweet saying he was “going death con 3 (sic) On JEWISH PEOPLE.”

In a statement, the sports clothing and lifestyle brand referenced the hate speech saying, “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. 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.”

The public fallout Ye faces from his bigoted vitriol and their immediate consequence are having monetary implications for the rapper-producer as well. Variety reports that Adidas estimates the move to cut ties with West will impact their bottom line by up to $246 million this year. West’s partnership with Adidas, meanwhile, is reported by Forbes to have been worth $1.5 billion, with West’s current net worth now thought to be at around $400 million.

Ye and Adidas partnered to create a fashion line called Adidas Yeezy seven years ago. Adidas said in its statement it will stop the Yeezy business immediately. Adidas also added in its statement they are the sole owner of all design rights, which could be a warning to Ye not to reproduce the designs with a new manufacturer.

Hollywood talent agency CAA has also dropped West as a client and he has also been sanctioned by Twitter and Instagram for his comments, with his accounts on both platforms now suspended. On Saturday, meanwhile, the dangerous consequences of his comments were on full display, as antisemitic demonstrators gathered on a 405 Freeway overpass in Westchester; attendees were seen hanging banners praising West and giving Nazi salutes.

On Thursday, the private school West founded in Simi Valley—Donda Academy—abruptly closed its doors for the remainder of the school year.

Kim Kardashian, his ex-wife, condemned antisemitism on Monday without making a reference to the rapper/fashion designer. “Hate speech is never OK or excusable. I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end,” she Tweeted.

Variety also reports that a completed documentary about Ye will be shelved in light of his comments.


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