Hollywood Scandals: Kanye West–Hollywood Boycott Grows

Kanye West As Hollywood Boycott Calls Grow

The agency severed ties with the artist amid his repeated antisemitic comments made in multiple interviews.

Amid calls to cut ties with Kanye West over his repeated antisemitic comments, CAA stopped representing the artist within the last month.

The talent agency had worked with West, but his repeated interviews espousing antisemitic rhetoric have proved indefensible to business partners.

With CAA ending its run with West, Hollywood’s major talent agencies — including WME and UTA — have supported calls to end working relationship with the rapper and fashion mogul.

On Oct. 23, Jeremy Zimmer, who leads rival agency UTA, sent  companywide email titled “Rise of Anti Semitism and Hate,” writing that West’s comments “embolden others to amplify their vile beliefs.” The UTA CEO added: “we can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-Semitism. Please support the boycott of Kanye West.”

Silence isn’t an option

While West has lucrative deal with Adidas for his Yeezy shoe and fashion line, other major partners — including French label Balenciaga, production studio MRC, which was working on  documentary with him — have publicly distanced themselves and cut ties.

“We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform,” wrote MRC’s leaders, while Balenciaga noted that it doesn’t have “any relationship” with West moving forward.

While the rapper still has official accounts on Twitter and Instagram, posts containing antisemitic comments — including a tweet on Oct. 8 that called for “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” — have been removed from the social media giants’ platforms.

West inked a deal to take ownership of the small “free speech” social media app Parler on Oct. 17. That app is run by the CEO George Farmer, the husband of conservative activist Candace Owens, who donned a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt along with West at Paris Fashion Week earlier this month.

West–whose net worth is estimated at $2 billion, per Forbes‘ calculation–had his last full length album, 2021’s Donda, distributed by Def Jam Recordings, a division of the publicly traded Universal Music Group. In a tweet on Oct. 17, UMG stated, “There is no place for antisemitism in our society,” but made no reference to West.