Kanye West’s recent controversial anti-semitic posts have had serious consequences on his finances. He has lost more than $1.5 billion, according to Forbes, after weeks of bigoted comments caused Adidas to terminate their partnership.
Ye, as he is now legally known, began the year with an estimated net worth of $2 billion, and after the release of Donda 2 and a summer of high-profile fashion rollouts, that number had likely grown. But a lot of that value came from branded partnerships that he has since lost.
In September, he and Gap agreed to end the Yeezy Gap line, and that came even before antisemitic posts led to restrictions on West’s social media accounts. Afterwards, as more reports began to surface that Ye had praised Hitler, JP Morgan Chase unbanked him. In October, he also wore White Lives Matter apparel and spread the conservative misinformation that George Floyd, who was murdered by a police officer, had actually died of a fentanyl overdose. Floyd’s family is now suing for $250 million.
Adidas is just the latest deal to fall through, there was already friction between them. He had accused the company of ripping off his designs and selling non-partnered merchandise in markets like China, and in an attempt to free himself from the contract, he tried to intimidate executives by showing them pornography.
Forbes estimated that the Adidas partnership was worth about $1.5 billion to Ye. His current net worth is now thought to be around $400 million, a formidably smaller amount than before the controversies. “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.” West seemed determined to taunt Adidas, saying in a Drink Champs podcast: “I can say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what? Now what?” In reply, Adidas terminated their relationship.
Gap ended their Yeezygap.com product deal with West in September. They too felt compelled to issue a statement to condemn West’s comments. “Our former partner’s recent remarks and behavior further underscore why. We are taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product from our stores and we have shut down YeezyGap.com. Antisemitism, racism and hate in any form are inexcusable and not tolerated in accordance with our values. On behalf of our customers, employees and shareholders, we are partnering with organizations that combat hate and discrimination.”
Even those who are used to problematic clients are dropping West. He had engaged Camille Vasquez, the lawyer who helped Johnny Depp win his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard, to help him get his businesses back on track. But she dropped him after less than a week because he refused to retract his antisemitic comments. The only partner that seems interested is the failing right-wing platform, Parler.
Since West had engaged a lawyer to help him get back the business deals, then It is clear that he is determined to keep them, yet at the same time he continues to make scandalous comments knowing that they lose would lose him such substantial sums of money.