According to CNN Business, Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden said he doesn’t think Kanye West “meant what he said” when the rapper [allegedly] spewed antisemitic comments last year.
In a recent podcast interview, Gulden complimented West, also known as Ye, calling him “one of the most creative people in the world.” Gulden said the fact that Ye made the statements “wasn’t that good” and led Adidas to break the contract and withdraw the product, referencing the end of its Yeezy line.
“Very unfortunate, because I don’t think he meant what he said, and I don’t think he’s a bad person. It just came across that way,” Gulden said, who is Norwegian born with English not being his first language. “That meant we lost that business, one of the most successful collabs in the history … very sad.”
Accusations of antisemitism against West emerged from a misinterpreted tweet on his Twitter/X account in October 2022. Though a recent fact-check has since revealed the allegations of antisemitism to be false, his comments sparked global outrage causing Adidas to end its nine-year business partnership with him. Prior to that, wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt landed West in hot water due to the religious advocacy organization, Anti-Defamation League, classifying concern for non-Blacks as hate speech.
Adidas anticipates losing more than $1 billion in revenue this year alone, after abandoning the Yeezy brand and the public stigma attached to West from the antisemitic disinformation campaign.
What do you think? Should media outlets be held responsible for spreading misinformation? Does Ye West deserve an apology for being slandered as an antisemite? Should he apologize for believing all humans matter, including Whites? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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