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Adidas Ends Partnership With Kanye West At A Considerable Cost




PARIS, France - The German sportswear giant is the latest company to cut ties with West, now known as Ye, after his antisemitic remarks. Ending the partnership is expected to hurt company profits.


For more than two weeks, as Kanye West made a series of antisemitic remarks and embraced a slogan associated with white supremacists, Adidas, the most important partner in his fashion empire, said only that its relationship with the rapper and designer was ''under review''.


But as Ye, as West is now known, continued his offensive behavior, and with the condemnation of his remarks growing more widespread, Adidas announced Tuesday that it would cut ties with him - a move the company said would cost it 250 million euros ($246 million) this year.


The end of their nearly decade-long partnership - which one estimate said was worth close to $100 million annually to Ye - raised questions of what would come next for Ye, who has been one of the most influential pop stars of recent decades but has become increasingly polarizing and unreliable. CAA, Ye's former talent agency, no longer represents him and Def Jam, his longtime record company, said that his contract has expired last year.


''Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech'', the company said in a statement. ''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, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, said it would terminate the partnership immediately, and production of Yeezy-branded products and stop payments to Ye and his companies.


Over the past month, Ye tested the boundaries of acceptable behavior even for a noted provocateur. At his YZYSZN9 Paris Fashion Week show, he wore a shirt with the slogan ''White Lives Matter'', which the Anti-Defamation League has identified as hate speech and has been adopted by the white supremacist movement. He made antisemitic remarks on social media and in interviews shortly after, including a post on Twitter that said he would go ''death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE''.


Blowback quickly followed.


Instagram and Twitter suspended Ye's accounts. Ari Emanuel of Endeavor, the parent company of the talent agency WME, called on entertainment companies to stop working with Ye. Balenciaga, the fashion house that had partnered with Ye in his Yeezy Gap project (which came to an end in September) and opened its runway show in Paris this month with a modeling stint by Ye, deleted him from its pictures and videos of the show.


Similar images disappeared from Vogue Runway, the platform of record for fashion shows, and the magazine stated it ''had no intention'' of working with Ye in the future. Vogue magazine said it would no longer work with Ye in the future. Vogue magazine said it would no longer work with Ye, who had appeared on its cover with his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, and often attended the Met Gala.


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