West faces criticism and lawsuit after comments

By Logan Davis, Staff Writer

Kanye “Ye” West has been under scrutiny after being accused of making antisemitic comments on social media in October.

West tweeted on Oct. 8: “I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” The tweet has since been removed by Twitter, and his account was restricted, meaning the account was not banned but West currently cannot post tweets.  

A week before, at his brand Yeezy’s show at Paris Fashion Week, West dressed models in shirts with the phrase “White Lives Matter” on the back. 

Celebrities took to social media to share their thoughts. 

“All America has planned for us is poverty, incarceration or death,” rapper Diddy said. “So, before I can get to any other lives matter. Black Lives Matter don’t play with it.” 

West has also been sued for $250 million in a defamation lawsuit by the family of George Floyd after claiming that Floyd died from a fentanyl overdose rather than by a police officer.

West has since been dropped by multiple companies including Adidas, Balenciaga and GAP. This has resulted in West’s net worth plummeting, and he is no longer a billionaire according to the Forbes Billionaires List.

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” Adidas officials commented in response to West’s statements. “Ye’s recent comments have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion and mutual respect and fairness.”  

Donda Academy, West’s Christian prep school in California, has been forced to shut down for the school year after Ari Emanuel, the CEO of an entertainment and media agency, Endeavor, encouraged several of West’s business partners to part ways with the rapper in an op-ed published in the Financial Times.

After calling West’s words “awful,” Spotify CEO Daniel Elk emphasized that West’s comments did not violate Spotify’s anti-hate policy as the comments were not made on the streaming service. Elk has stated that West’s music will only come down per request of his record label.

“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” he said. “It’s up to his record label if they want to take action or not.”

Other streaming services such as Apple Music have gone a different direction, taking West’s “Essentials” playlist off the platform entirely. 

West has also been dropped by the Creative Artists Agency, who have confirmed that he is no longer a client. The United Talent Agency also shared their thoughts on West’s behaviors stating, “We can’t support hate-speech, bigotry or anti-Semitism, please support the boycott of Kanye West.”

Not everyone disagrees with West’s behavior. Former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown posted an official statement on Twitter stating, “Sensationalism and groupthink have forced people to not speak their minds and act out in fear rather than love. For these reasons I stand by my dedication to freedom of speech, thought and opinion.” Brown has also stated that he will remain the president of Donda Sports.

Candace Owens also showed her support for West. 

“If you are an honest person, you did not think this tweet was antisemitic,” Owens said. “It’s like you can’t even say the word ‘Jewish’ without people getting upset.”

 West has since apologized for the comments he made toward the Jewish community, saying he did not realize he was being antisemitic and was unaware he could be antisemitic until he read the definition of antisemitism.

“I want to apologize because God has shown me by what Adidas is doing and by what the media is doing. I know how it feels to have a knee on my neck now,” West said of his comments about Floyd.