Kanye West‘s antisemitism has been known to Adidas since the very beginning?!
In a bombshell new report by The New York Times out on Friday, Kanye displayed antisemitic views during his very first meeting with Adidas — and it took the company nearly a decade before they finally cut ties with him! WHAT?!
According to several former employees, the rapper met with a team at the company’s headquarters in Germany back in 2013 to start “pitching ideas for the first shoe.” When the designer was unsatisfied with their initial thoughts, he allegedly did something truly horrific, the report revealed:
“The Adidas employees, thrilled to get started, had arrayed sneakers and fabric swatches on a long table near a mood board pinned with images. But nothing they showed that day at the company’s German headquarters captured the vision Mr. West had shared.”
Instead of just sharing his opinion in a mature and professional way, Kanye did the unthinkable, two participants detailed:
“To convey how offensive he considered the designs, he grabbed a sketch of a shoe and took a marker to the toe. Then he drew a swastika.”
That is incredibly f**ked up and rightfully shocked everyone in the room, who were especially stunned because the meeting was taking place “just miles from Nuremberg where leaders of the Third Reich were tried for crimes against humanity,” the NYT noted. Jeez.
Of course, it wouldn’t become widely known until later how much Ye was actually into Adolf Hitler behind closed doors. Considering the white supremacists he’s been hanging out with in recent years, it all sort of fits, doesn’t it?
This would become the first of MANY problematic interactions shared by the Adidas staff. Insiders told the outlet a few years later he “advised a Jewish Adidas manager to kiss a picture of Hitler every day.” WTF?!
This incredibly insensitive demand likely derived from his obsession with the dictator. Ye supposedly told some Adidas co-workers that he thought Hitler was a “master marketer” and said he “admired” his “command of propaganda.” That’s who you pick as a role model? Hitler? Oof.
Things escalated again in 2018 when he reportedly admitted to paying a former Yeezy chief executive a seven-figure settlement after they “accused him of repeatedly praising the architect of the Holocaust.” Per previous reports, the 46-year-old also supposedly wanted to name his album “Hitler” at the time but ended up with Ye. There have been plenty of other allegations of antisemitism levied against him since his bizarre behavior last year, as well.
So if all this nasty stuff was happening for years, what did Adidas choose to do about it?! Just sit back and watch the cash pile up, apparently!
Per the outlet, the company reportedly agreed to triple Kim Kardashian‘s ex-husband’s annual salary during annual contract negotiations in 2016. That said, they did start to cover their bases by adding a morals clause to the contract. Still, they didn’t invoke it until last year when they were left with no choice after Kanye made his antisemitic views known via public rants and was dropped from other partnerships. Jeez.
In a statement shared with the paper, the brand said they have “no tolerance for hate speech and offensive behavior, which is why the company terminated the Adidas Yeezy partnership.” But, um, if this report is true, it turns out they have plenty of tolerance — so long as they can make money without people knowing what’s really going on!
FWIW, the company is STILL seemingly trying to turn a blind eye to this scandal. Their new CEO Bjørn Gulden said on a podcast earlier this year that he doesn’t think the artist “meant what he said.” Ugh. All of this is so awful, especially for all of their employees who had to endure this alleged behavior!
Reactions, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF (below)!
[Image via WENN]