The Downfall of Kanye ‘Ye’ West
Kanye West (Ye). Where do we begin?
In previous blogs we have commented on his controversies as an agency of public relations professionals, most recently the Pete Davidson/Kim Kardashian drama. And while this was enough to make the public over what Kanye had to say, it has just gotten worse.
Ye has a reputation of being able to say whatever he wants because ‘no one will drop him’. While brands have tolerated his comments and actions in the past, this time has made his empire crash to the ground. It is the result of antisemitic comments that he has made in recent weeks, that brands have decided to finally draw the line.
Many celebrities, including his ex-wife, Kimmy-K, have come out in support of the Jewish community to save their reputations. With his own lawyer, creative agency, Gap and Balenciaga all allegedly dropping him, everyone watched to see how Adidas would react.
10 days following the antisemitic comments and years after controversy, Adidas released an ill-timed statement. From a public relations perspective, the brand would have been in crisis mode to manage the loss of sales from the Yeezy collection. But it was not smart for the brand to not even mention that they will be making a full statement.
The German brand has had a history of ties to Nazi Germany and if the brand continued its partnership with Ye after these comments, it would undo all the work it has done to distance themselves for its reputation.
While Adidas cutting ties with Ye was the ethically right thing to do, it is reported that the brand will lose over US$200million worth of sales from the termination of their partnership. Many raised the question of the brand cutting ties with Ye but still underpaying its Cambodian factory staff. But maybe we should save that discussion for next weeks’ blog.
The next big brand that everyone has been waiting on is Spotify. The music streaming platform announced they won’t be removing Ye from the platform and many are looking for ways to block him from the platform.
While some may come for Spotify for his removal, it is ultimately up to the record label (plus they would be removing over 50 million listens a month). However, if Spotify was to remove every controversial artist that is on the platform, this could ruin the company as a whole.
However, Ye will be here to stay whether we like it or not as we have learnt through the Travis Scott Astroworld travesty. If your fan base is loyal enough, many will look past this and continue support him. Fan pages taken to social media in support of Ye saying, “but he created the album Graduation”.
If you would like to know how to support the Jewish community, educate and re-educate yourself, check in on the community and those around you, read articles written by Jewish people and take a stance against racism.
By Claudia Bergen – PR & Influencer Executive at InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn