Adidas Speaks Out About Dropping Kanye West, As Johnny Depp's Lawyer Also Severs Ties With The Rapper

As the backlash over Kanye West’s recent controversial statements grows, the rapper continues to lose a number of business partnerships. Several high-profile companies have parted ways with West thus far and, since then, there’s been pressure for other entities to follow suit. Adidas, which began collaborating with West in 2013, has especially been in the hot seat as of late. Now, the sportswear giant has confirmed that it’s dropping the star and released a statement in which it elaborated on the decision. This all comes on the heels of Johnny Depp’s attorney also severing ties with West. 

Kanye West, now officially known as Ye, appeared on Drink Champs earlier this month and made anti-Semitic comments. He also mused that “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?” The German company released a statement, which was shared with CNBC, earlier this morning regarding its decision to drop the star. Said move will reportedly amount to a $246 million loss for the corporation in the short term. In its message, the organization condemned West’s sentiments and specified just how soon it’ll conclude its business with him: 

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. 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.

Ahead of this latest development, brands like Balenciaga, Def Jam and Vogue had already indicated that they would no longer work with the Grammy winner. Prolific talent agency CAA also dropped him from its ranks. Kanye West addressed his comments days ago and claimed that the ensuing backlash only proves his points about cancel culture. West's net worth has also dipped as a result of the controversies, and he's no longer listed as a billionaire. This is due to the fact that his now-dissolved Adidas deal accounted for $1.5 billion of his wealth.

Amid the wave of financial losses, the fashion mogul had reportedly hired Johnny Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, to help manage his affairs. However, days after that news dropped, TMZ reported that Vasquez had vacated her post. Ye’s decision to double down on his views and not issue an apology allegedly factored into the attorney’s decision to step down. 

Ye’s anti-Semitic rhetoric has seemingly sent shockwaves through Hollywood and the general public. A plethora of stars, like Howard Stern, have condemned his comments. Two other notable people who spoke out were the Jesus is King curator’s former sister-in-law and ex-wife, Khloé and Kim Kardashian (Kim is reportedly handling Ye differently now that he’s making headlines again.) 

THR also reports that a Jewish educator who worked at the musician’s heavily discussed Donda Academy resigned due to the star’s comments. The former faculty member, Tamar Andrews, reportedly “felt she could no longer support the organization.” Andrews’ last day with the school, which is unaccredited, was on October 11.  

Kanye West is also currently facing backlash for what he said about George Floyd during the Drink Champs interview. He claimed that Floyd, who died after now-convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for over nine minutes, was killed by fentanyl. He also alleged that Chauvin’s knee “wasn't even on his neck like that.” The Floyd family has since filed a $250 million lawsuit against West and his partners on the grounds of defamation and more. The suit could also involve Candace Owens, the noted conservative media personality. Her new documentary (which recently had a premiere attended by West, Ray J and more) was cited by the rapper while he was speaking on the podcast. 

Ye has not responded to Adidas’ decision to drop him, as of this writing. As for what other companies decide to move on from the mogul in the aftermath of his pointed statements, that remains to be seen. It’s also unclear as to who the rapper will look to for legal representation moving forward. 

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.