Adidas is facing increased pressure from people online to cut ties with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, after he made a string of antisemitic comments.
Social media users began calling out the German athletic brand after an antisemitic hate group hung a banner over a Los Angeles freeway Saturday that read “Kanye is right about the Jews.” Local politicians, social media users and other celebrities denounced the incident.
Adidas, which began its partnership with Ye in 2013, began trending on Twitter on Monday. Representatives for both the company and Ye did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Others in the fashion and entertainment industries have distanced themselves from Ye following his remarks.
The luxury fashion house Balenciaga severed ties with him Friday. The prominent talent agency CAA dropped him as a client, they said in a statement Monday. A recent completed documentary about Ye, made by the Hollywood financier and producer MRC, was also shelved.
Adidas said this month that it is reassessing its partnership with Ye after he donned a “White Lives Matter” shirt during Paris Fashion Week.
“After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review,” Adidas said in a statement. “We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period.”
Many social media users who are calling out Adidas specifically pointed to a clip of Ye addressing his partnership with the brand.
“The thing about it being Adidas,” he says in the video, which has been widely recirculated online. “…I can say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”
A Twitter user wrote, “It really is incredible that Kanye West could say, ‘I can say anti-Semitic things and @adidas can’t drop me,’ and Adidas chooses to do exactly that. Their silence says it all.”
“Morning @adidas, this isn’t all that hard or complicated and your continued silence speaks volumes,” wrote actor Josh Charles.
“This is not a good person,” actor Josh Gad wrote on Twitter in a response to the clip. “This is a person who’s dangerous rhetoric continues to go unchecked. Hey @adidas, is this right? Can he single out a single faith and group of people with hatred and vitriol and it doesn’t matter? Asking for a friend.”
“The world is watching, @adidas,” actor Kat Dennings tweeted.
Kim Kardashian, Ye’s ex-wife, tweeted on Monday that she pledged to “stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.” She did not mention Ye or Adidas in the tweet.
In a tweet Monday, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt highlighted a petition from the nonprofit group called “Tell Adidas to Run Away from Antisemitism.”
“Thousands of signatures, and still no word, @adidas?” he wrote. “Your silence is a danger to Jews. We can’t let Ye’s #antisemitism become normalized — we all need to demand Adidas #RunAwayFromHate by condemning his racist rhetoric & re-evaluating their partnership.”
The nonprofit group Stop Antisemitism also questioned Adidas.
“WHY is @Adidas green lighting Kanye West’s Jew hatred and not dropping his branding deal?” the organization tweeted, noting that the brand had reportedly previously cut its business relationships with other major celebrities, like Kurt Zouma and Teyana Taylor, over other controversies.
Some on social media also expressed their disappointment with the retailer Gap.
Ye announced last month that he had terminated his collaboration with Gap over disagreements over the distribution of Yeezy Gap.
But several people online pointed out that Gap appears to continue to market the Yeezy Gap collection.
“Hi @Gap. I’m Jewish & @kanyewest hates me so I don’t really appreciate this advertising in my inbox,” a Twitter user wrote. “Not sure why you are continuing to promote this collaboration. I don’t plan on shopping at your stores ever again.”
A spokesperson for Gap did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Gap told CNN last month that it will continue to sell its existing merchandise from Yeezy Gap in its stores and on its website. It said it will also continue to sell forthcoming collections from Yeezy Gap in the fall and into the first half of 2023.
Diana Dasrath contributed.