Adidas announced on Tuesday that they were cutting ties with Ye, formally known as Kanye West, in the wake of his public antisemitic remarks and rants.
The partnership between the two will be terminated on “immediate” grounds, the company said in a statement. This includes ending the production of Yeezy-branded products.
“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 company said in a release. “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 went on to explain that the decision is “expected to have a short-term negative impact” — an estimated $250 million — on the company’s overall net revenue for 2022, but said that more information will be provided during Adidas’ Q3 2022 earnings announcement expected on November 9.
Adidas is still the “sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways” in its partnership with Ye and his Yeezy brand, per the release.
Later on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Adidas will continue to sell Yeezy products under Adidas’ branding and name as early as next year.
“Looking ahead, on our understanding, the company will not sell any Yeezy-branded products and all Yeezy products will be branded under Adidas brand,” Morgan Stanley analyst Edouard Aubin told clients in a note on Tuesday, per the publication.
The company has faced mounting pressure to cut ties with the rapper following his October 16 appearance on the Drink Champs podcast where he stated “I can say antisemitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what? Now what?”
The world is watching, @adidas
— Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) October 23, 2022
The silence from @adidas right now is deafening. The world is watching.
— Adam Braun (@AdamBraun) October 25, 2022
Among those making a statement is Ye’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, who condemned the “terrible violence and hateful rhetoric” via social media.
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.
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) October 24, 2022
Adidas said earlier this month that their partnership with the rapper was “under review” following a slew of posts from Ye attacking the company, claiming that the athletic brand “stole” his designs. He then sent “White Lives Matter” T-shirts down a runway at Paris Fashion Week.
Ye’s partnership with Adidas was first announced in 2013 and officially inked in 2016 as Adidas + Kanye West, a “YEEZY branded entity creating footwear, apparel, and accessories for all genders across street and sport.”
According to the Washington Post, Yeezy is estimated to generate around $2 billion a year for Adidas, the equivalent of about 10% of the company’s annual income.
The termination of the deal is expected to severely affect Ye’s net worth, as Yeezy was reportedly responsible for $1.5 billion of the rapper’s roughly $2 billion.
Per most recent reports, Ye has now lost his billionaire status with his net worth now estimated to be around $400 million.
What Companies Have Dropped Ye?
Adidas is not the first company to drop Ye amid the backlash and outrage.
In September, Gap and West ended their business partnership after West and his team penned a letter to the company which claimed that the retailer did not follow the terms and conditions that were first stated upon signing the initial agreement, namely selling Yeezy Gap products in-store.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Gap announced that it would be removing all Yeezy Gap products from shelves immediately.
“Our former partner’s recent remarks and behavior further underscore why. We are taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product from our stores and we have shut down YeezyGap.com,” the company said in a release. “Antisemitism, racism and hate in any form are inexcusable and not tolerated in accordance with our values. On behalf of our customers, employees and shareholders, we are partnering with organizations that combat hate and discrimination.”
Fashion house Balenciaga told WWD earlier this week that it “no longer has any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to” Ye.
Longtime Vogue Editor-in-Chief and Global Chief Content Officer for Condé Nast Anna Wintour said in a statement that neither she nor the magazine plan to ever work with West again in any capacity.
West was also dropped by his talent agency, CAA, and a recently filmed documentary about the rapper has been pulled from distribution. The production company, MRC, told the LA Times in a letter that it “cannot support any content that amplifies” Ye’s platform.
It was also widely reported that JP Morgan cut ties with Ye but there has not been any confirmation or follow-up from the bank.
Ye has been banned from Instagram and Twitter and was dropped by his divorce lawyers Bernard Clair and Bob Cohen.
At press time, Ye had not yet publicly commented on the termination of his partnership with Adidas.