Adidas is investigating a report that rapper-turned-fashion designer Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, engaged in sexually harassing behavior while working with the German sports apparel company on his Yeezy shoe line.
Adidas, which had partnered with Ye since 2013, reported that Ye showed pornography to Adidas staff during meetings. Employees sent an anonymous letter to senior leadership laying out their accusations, according to the publication, which did not identify any of the staff behind the allegations.over his antisemitic comments on social media. The company’s investigation comes days after Rolling Stone
“It is currently not clear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true,” Adidas said in a statement. “However, we take these allegations very seriously and have taken the decision to launch an independent investigation of the matter immediately to address the allegations.”
Adidas noted in its statement that the company severed ties with Ye and that officials “continue to be actively engaged in conversations with our employees about the events that lead to our decision to end the partnership.”
Rolling Stone reported that Ye showed explicit photos and videos of his former wife Kim Kardashian in meetings with Yeezy and Adidas staff. He is also said to have used intimidation tactics with consultants hired to help create Yeezy shoes. The letter from employees — titled “The Truth About Yeezy: A Call to Action for Adidas Leadership” — also accused company leaders of turning a blind eye to Ye’s behavior, according to Rolling Stone.
“At the time I found it odd but in line with his persona as an edgy artist,” a former collaborator told the magazine in describing Ye. “Now, seeing it within a larger pattern, I feel it was a tactic to break a person down and establish their unwavering allegiance to him, testing and destroying people’s boundaries.”
Ye has been at the center of controversy in recent months for a string of comments and actions. He was criticized for wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt to Paris Fashion Week — a phrase that many people of color took as a deliberate mockery of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ye said during an interview last month that after losing the Adidas deal he now knows how it feels to have your neck stepped on like George Floyd. He was also temporarily suspended from Twitter after posting on the platform that he would go “death [sic] con 3” on Jewish people — a reference to the military’s use of defense readiness conditions or “defcons.”
Ye’s actions have cost him nearlysince the defcon tweet, which has since been deleted. Balenciaga, Gap, Peloton, talent agency CAA and the rapper.
Separately, Ye said on Twitter that he’s running for president in 2024. He also ran a briefin 2020.