Ye West Sees his Fandom, Sponsors, and Net Worth Disappear

In recent weeks Ye West, formerly known as Kanye West, has made multiple statements of hate speech. His offensive language includes posts on social media, wearing clothing related to race hate groups, and making antisemitic and racist comments during interviews.[1] Ye has made only very limited attempts to walk back his statements, and largely continues to stand by his hate speech. [2] His statements go beyond just hurting others. In LA, incidents of antisemitic behavior are increasing, and hate groups are attempting to capitalize on Ye’s statements and increase hateful demonstrations.[3] Ye’s long history with hate speech seems to finally be met with consequences, as fans and sponsors have begun to disavow Ye and his products.

Image of Ye – Jacopo M. Raule/Getty Images For Balenciaga

Sponsors and celebrities have rushed to distance themselves from Ye and his hateful remarks. Aaron Donald of the LA Rams and Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics have terminated their contracts with Donda sports, the athlete wellness and marketing group run by Ye and named after his Mother. [4] Donald and Brown were the only two working athletes signed with Donda Sports. The company president is Antonio Brown, who continues to serve in his role and stands by Ye.[5]

Some stars have released statements condemning Ye’s comments. NFL star Julian Edelman shared a social media post calling out Ye and stating that mental health is not an excuse to spread hate speech. [6] Many others, including John Legend and Jamie Lee Curtis, also called Ye out for his hateful comments. Ye also temporarily lost his platforms on Twitter and Instagram.[7]

Julian Edelman calls out Ye via social media

Sponsors have begun to flee from Ye. The talent agency known as Creative Artists Agency has fired Ye as a client.[8] Balenciaga has dropped Ye and his products from its fashion brand. [9] Sportswear manufacturer Adidas has also terminated its deal with Ye. The Adidas deal is worth “an estimated 100 million annually to Ye” and is one of his most valuable connections. [10] Other brands have ended their partnerships with Ye, though many were already planning to end their partnership prior to some of his most recent remarks.

The loss of sponsors has been expensive for Ye. Prior to losing his deals, Ye had a net worth of approximately $2 billion. After losing his sponsors it is estimated that Ye is now worth only $400 million. The bulk of his loss comes from the Adidas deal.[11] Adidas manufactured Ye’s famous “Yeezy” shoes and made a lot of money doing so. For Adidas, the Yeezy shoe brand represented 10% of its yearly revenue at $2 billion annually.[12] The Adidas contract ended shortly after Ye was quoted as saying “I can say antisemitic s—- and Adidas cannot drop me.”[13]

A pair of Yeezy Sneakers –

Ye’s fans have also begun to move on from the artist. A recent article in the New York Times chronicled how fans and collectors have had enough of Ye. Those who collected Yeezy shoes are now dumping them from their collections. Many fans who have already moved on from Ye due to his previous instances of hate speech are glad he is finally getting real attention from brands for his actions. [14]

The one place where Ye still continues to be somewhat unaffected is his music. Spotify has stated affirmatively that Ye’s music will remain on its platform. [15] Ye has nine certified platinum albums, and he has a track in the Spotify billions club for having over one billion streams. It is unlikely any of his music will ever be delisted. However, without a talent agency or a current record label, releasing music to a broad audience will be challenging for Ye.

Cover of Graduation, one of Ye’s best performing albums

Ye’s career seems to be over. He has made little effort to walk back his remarks or to apologize for his statements. Many of his biggest sponsors have left him, and his fans can no longer support him. Espousing racism and antisemitic conspiracy theories has consequences even for the ultra-rich.
















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