Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel urges brands to stop working with Kanye West

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Top entertainment industry talent agent Ari Emanuel is calling on businesses to stop working with rapper Ye, better known as Kanye West, over his antisemitic comments on social media.

Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, said in a Financial Times op-ed that fashion and entertainment brands that have collaborated with Ye on fashion lines and other projects need to “speak out and take action” against the music artist.

Ye was locked out of Twitter and Instagram after saying he was going to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”

Some companies have already cut ties with Ye and his Yeezy apparel brand. French fashion house Balenciaga on Friday said it will no longer work on projects with West, Women’s Wear Daily reported

“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship or any plans for future projects related to this artist,” a Balenciaga spokesperson told Women’s Wear Daily.

This week, the Anti-Defamation League called on Adidas to end the athletic wear company’s commercial relationship with Ye. The advocacy group said it is “surprised and concerned that Adidas — a brand that supports inclusion and diversity — continues not only to support the Ye product line, but to release new products even as he continues to espouse hateful antisemitic ideas.”

In teaming with West in 2016, Adidas at the time called it “the most significant partnership ever created between an athletic brand and a nonathlete.”

West chose to end his shoe and clothing partnership with Gap last month over what his lawyer said were Gap’s unmet contractual obligations. 

“Misguided hate”

For his part, Emanuel expressed concern about the message companies’ ongoing commercial ties with Ye sends to his large fan base. 

“West is not just any person — he is a pop culture icon with millions of fans around the world. And among them are young people whose views are still being formed,” Emanuel wrote. He also accused Ye’s business partners of “giving his misguided hate an audience.”

Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, agrees to buy conservative-leaning social media site Parler


“There should be no tolerance anywhere for West’s antisemitism. This is a moment in history where the stakes are high and being open about our values, and living them, is essential. Silence and inaction are not an option,” Emanuel said. 

After being suspended by Instagram and Twitter, Ye struck a deal to buy right-leaning social network Parler

“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” Ye said in a statement this week after the acquisition was announced.

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