West Faces More Losses

Agency drops rapper, and studio shelves documentary
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2022 7:20 PM CDT
Agency Drops West, and Demand for His Music Falls
Kanye West, shown in March, is selling less music now.   (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

Kanye West's series of anti-Semitic comments is costing him profitable corporate deals while inspiring public displays of hate speech by others. The backlash among his business partners is not universal, though: Adidas said weeks ago it's reconsidering its relationship with the rapper but hasn't said anything since, NPR reports, despite growing pressure on the company. In a letter released last week, the Anti-Defamation League asked Adidas, "What more do you need to review?" New developments involve:

  • A talent agency: West is no longer a client of the Creative Artists Agency, per CBS News. The talent agency had represented West for touring only since 2016, per Deadline, though he hasn't toured since he signed. CAA dropped West earlier this month, but it wasn't reported until Monday.
  • A documentary: MRC studio announced Monday that a completed film about West, who now goes by Ye, will not be released, saying it doesn't want to give him a platform. "Kanye is a producer and sampler of music," studio executives said in a memo, per Variety. "Last week he sampled and remixed a classic tune that has charted for over 3,000 years—the lie that Jews are evil and conspire to control the world for their own gain."
  • Followers: A hate group displayed its support for West's views on Saturday in Los Angeles, per the Los Angeles Times, prompting concern among elected officials. Demonstrators standing on a highway overpass gave Nazi salutes as traffic passed, standing behind a large banner reading, "Kanye is right about the Jews." Fliers were left at homes and on cars in neighborhoods touting conspiracy theories about Jewish and LGBTQ people, said the Los Angeles County district attorney. Anti-Semitism "is a societal cancer that must be excised," George Gascón wrote on Twitter. Sam Yebri, a Los Angeles City Council candidate, said, "People are terrified and feel abandoned by our leaders, who are neither speaking up nor doing anything about this increase in antisemitism."
  • Demand: West's music has fallen off significantly in streaming and airplay, per Variety. Luminate data show his albums are down 23% through Oct. 20 from the week before, and radio airplay in the US fell 13%. Some stations, such as KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, did not play his music at all. West's music is down in every monitored category in the US, including physical and digital sales, as well as programmed and on-demand streaming.
(More Kanye West stories.)

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