Kanye West is facing a fresh wave of allegations accusing the rapper of Anti-Semitic behaviour during his time at Adidas.
In a New York Times investigation published on October 27, current and former employees of Adidas and West were interviewed claiming that the musician had reportedly been engaging in Anti-Semitic behaviour since early meetings in 2013.
West, who collaborated with the clothing company to create the Yeezy footwear line, apparently drew a swastika to express his displeasure. According to the investigation, Adidas presented West with a series of designs for the upcoming line. West, however, was not impressed; two people in the meeting alleged that he “grabbed a sketch of a shoe” and “drew a swastika.”
The New York Times claimed that this was not the only instance of Anti-Semitic behaviour at Adidas. The investigation also alleged that West told an Adidas colleague, Jon Wexler, to “hang a photo of Hitler in his kitchen and kiss it every day to practice unconditional love”. Wexler, Adidas’ then global director of entertainment and influencer marketing, is also Jewish, and reportedly yelled at West for the remark.
Over the years, West told colleagues that he believed Hitler was a “master marketer”. He also reportedly wanted to name his 2022 album ‘Hitler’ (but called it ‘Ye’ instead).
West also apparently told Adidas in 2018 that he had paid a “seven-figure settlement” to the outgoing chief executive of the Yeezy operation, who accused the rapper of “commending Hitler” and “creating a hostile workplace.”
NME has reached out to representatives of West for comment.
Adidas officially cut ties with West in October 2022 in light of Anti-Semitic remarks he made on social media. The rapper denied that his statements were Anti-Semitic, claiming the term was “not factual”: “I don’t believe in that term”. He was later labelled the ‘Antisemite of the Year‘ by watchdog group StopAntisemitism, and widely condemned by figures in the entertainment industry, politicans, and organisations.