Kanye West's 2022 controversies: The brands that left and the fortune that dwindled
Dive into a retrospective look at Kanye West's controversies from 2022, which led major brands like Adidas, Gap, and Foot Locker to sever ties with him.
Kanye West (Source: TMZ)
It's been almost a year since the music and fashion mogul, Kanye West, faced a series of setbacks that not only impacted his business ventures but also his billionaire status. The controversies surrounding West, now known as Ye, led to a domino effect of brands severing ties with him. As we approach the anniversary of this tumultuous period, let's take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the events that shook the entertainment and business world.
The beginning of the end: Adidas cuts ties
In a move that sent shockwaves through the industry, Adidas announced the termination of its partnership with Ye after the artist made a series of offensive and antisemitic comments. "Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye's recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous," the company stated. This decision was not taken lightly, as the German sportswear giant faced immense pressure from the public, its employees, and various legal organizations. A Change.org petition urging Adidas to cut ties with Ye had amassed a staggering 169,100 signatures.
The ripple effect: Gap and Foot Locker follow suit
The Adidas announcement was just the tip of the iceberg. Gap and Foot Locker swiftly followed suit, removing Yeezy products from their stores. Gap went a step further by shutting down YeezyGap.com, redirecting visitors to its main website. Both companies echoed Adidas' sentiments, emphasizing their commitment to values that oppose any form of hate speech.
The financial fallout: From billionaire to millionaire
The repercussions of these severed partnerships were not just reputational. Forbes estimated that the loss of the Adidas deal alone plummeted Ye's net worth from billionaire status to a mere $400 million. The Adidas partnership was previously valued at a whopping $1.5 billion, contributing significantly to Ye's overall wealth.
The wider industry's response
The backlash didn't stop with major brands. Talent agency CAA dropped Ye as a client, and he was also let go by luxury fashion house Balenciaga. Social media giants Twitter and Instagram blocked him due to his controversial remarks. However, in a surprising twist, conservative social media platform Parler announced that Ye had agreed to purchase it.
The termination of the partnership with Ye had significant financial implications for Adidas as well. The company predicted a short-term negative impact of up to 250 million euros ($246 million) on its net income for 2022. Despite owning all design rights to existing products under the partnership, Adidas' stock fell by 4% in morning trading following the news.
As we reflect on these events, it's a stark reminder of the consequences of one's actions and words, especially in the public eye. Kanye West's journey since then has been one of redemption and rebuilding, but the events of October 2022 will forever be etched in the annals of entertainment history.
(Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)
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