'Had to Cut Ties': Kanye West Breaks Silence on Adidas, Ye-Related Brands Fallout as Rapper Loses Billionaire Status Kim Kardashian, Balenciaga, and Conde Nast's Anna Wintour have all released statements condemning the rhetoric.
Kanye West, now legally known as Ye, has been dropped from a spate of companies in the wake of his most recent behavior, including several antisemitic comments and rants.
The rapper responded on his verified Instagram account late Thursday night with a meme which cheekily stated that Kanye West had cut ties with Ye amid the backlash.
"Had to cut ties bro," he captioned the post.
West then followed up by posting a letter of sorts to Ari Emmanuel, the CEO of Endeavor who called for entertainment executives and businesses to boycott Ye and his affiliated businesses in an interview with the Financial Times.
"I lost 2 billion dollars in one day and I'm still alive," the post read. "The money is not who I am. The people is who I am."
West's Instagram posts came shortly after the rapper was escorted out of Skechers HQ for showing up announced.
Emmanuel wasn't the only entertainment executive that had words for West.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek condemned the rapper's remarks in an interview, calling his commentary "awful" but explaining that Ye's music would not be removed from the streaming platform as the music itself does not violate Spotify's policy.
Donda Academy, the contentious private school founded by Ye, has also reportedly shuttered for the remainder of the school year, according to screenshots of emails sent to parents that were obtained by the Times of London.
The mass fallout began when Adidas announced on Tuesday that it was terminating its partnership with Ye on "immediate" grounds, which includes ending the production of Yeezy-branded products.
In a statement, the company said the decision is "expected to have a short-term negative impact" — an estimated $250 million — on the company's overall net revenue for 2022, and adding that more information will be provided during Adidas' Q3 2022 earnings announcement expected on November 9.
Adidas, however, was not the first company that dropped the rapper amid backlash and outrage.
In September, Gap and West ended their business partnership after West and his team penned a letter to the company claiming the retailer did not follow the terms and conditions in their initial agreement, namely selling Yeezy Gap products in-store.
This week, Gap announced that it would be removing all Yeezy Gap products from shelves immediately as well as shutting down YeezyGap.com.
Foot Locker joined Gap on Tuesday in making the decision to pull all Yeezy products (namely sneakers) from shelves, reportedly instructing employees to keep the product in the backroom.
"We will not be supporting any future Yeezy product drops," the company added.
Also this week, several athletes from West's sports marketing agency, Donda Sports, denounced Ye's public comments and cut ties with the firm, including Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown.
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.
At press time, Ye had not yet publicly commented on the termination of his partnership with Adidas.
What's Next for Yeezy?
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.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday 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.
Why Did Companies Start Dropping Ye?
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.