The full, jaw-dropping timeline of Kanye West's antisemitism controversy

The full, jaw-dropping timeline of Kanye West's antisemitism controversy
Kanye West banned from Twitter, Instagram over antisemitic comments

Musician and fashion designer Kanye West is having quite the week.

Within seven days, West, also known as Ye, has managed to land himself a suspension from Twitter and Instagram due to accusations of anti-Semitic and racist posts.

The rapper is well-known for causing a storm on social media as he did earlier this year when he attacked his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her former boyfriend Pete Davidson.

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

But this week seemed to be the last straw after wearing a "White Lives Matter" shirt and verbally attacking Jewish people on Twitter.

Here's a timeline of West's actions:

An insider claimed West is Hitler 'obsessed'

Thursday, 27 October

A former executive of West alleged that the rapper had a public “obsession” with Adolf Hitler and used to think about the “great things” he and the Nazi Party did for Germany.

In an interview with CNN, the executive, who chose to remain anonymous, shared how West once considered the idea of naming an album after the Nazi leader.

“He would praise Hitler by saying how incredible it was that he was able to accumulate so much power and would talk about all the great things he and the Nazi Party achieved for the German people,” the executive alleged in a conversation with CNN.

Earlier in the day, West went back to his newly reinstated Instagram account, which he was locked out for sharing antisemitic remarks earlier in the month on the social media platform.

West shared a series of messages overnight on Thursday and name-dropped 50 Cent, Endeavor CEO Ari Emmanuel, and others.

The rapper also reflected on the news that he “lost $2bn in one day” amid anger over his hateful comments.

“The money is not who I am. The people is who I am,” he wrote.

Donda Academy closes down

Thursday, 27 October

West’s Donda Academy announced that it would be closing the unaccredited K-8 private Christian school following the rapper’s antisemitic remarks.

The Times first reported that the school’s principal, Jason Angell, sent an emailed statement to parents and guardians on Wednesday night, noting that “there is no school tomorrow.”

“At the discretion of our Founder, Donda Academy will close for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year effective immediately,” wrote Angell in an emailed statement.

The Simi Valley school’s principal also added that the closures aren’t permanent, intending to “begin afresh in September of 2023.”

The news of the school’s temporary closure, which reportedly includes teaching parkour in its curriculum and requires parents and guardians to sign non-disclosure agreements when they enroll children, comes days after an educational consultant at Donda handed in her two-week resignation notice.

West's Essentials Playlist appears to be taken off Apple Music

Thursday (27 October)

The rapper’s Essentials Playlist seemed to be removed from the streaming platform.

This move also appears to come after West’s series of antisemitic remarks on social media and during interviews.

Apple Music hasn’t released an official statement on the development, The Independentreported.

Peloton not using West’s music in new workout classes

Thursday, 27 October

Peloton revealed it “indefinitely paused” playing West’s music from its streaming in classes and takes the matter “very seriously.”

Pelo Buddy, which is a fan website that doesn’t have official ties with the exercise company, reported that the company is telling concerned members that instructors won’t use West’s music in “newly produced classes.”

It also said that it won’t recommend previously produced workout classes on its hardware or app that uses the rapper’s music.

Madame Tussauds London removes West's wax figure

Wednesday, 26 October

Madame Tussauds got rid of West’s wax figure from public view and into an archive by the museum.

“Ye’s (Kanye West’s) figure has been retired from the attraction floor to our archive, spokesperson for Madame Tussauds London told PA news agency.

“Each profile earns their place at Madame Tussauds London, and we listen to our guests and the public on who they expect to see at the attraction.”

The figurine of West was initially launched in the museum in 2015 alongside a figure of his then-wife Kim Kardashian.

Skechers escorts West out of its corporate office

Wednesday, 26 October

Skechers said the rapper went to the company’s building in California “unannounced”, just one day after Adidas severed ties with West.

“Ye arrived unannounced and without invitation at one of Skechers’ corporate offices in Los Angeles,” the footwear company said in a statement.

“Considering Ye was engaged in unauthorized filming, two Skechers executives escorted him and his party from the building after a brief conversation. Skechers is not considering and has no intention of working with West.”

Skechers also blasted the rapper’s recent antisemitic comments, before reiterating that West’s visit was not a part of the plans.

“We condemn his recent divisive remarks and do not tolerate antisemitism or any other form of hate speech,” the statement continued.

Instagram allows West to use his account again

Wednesday, 26 October

West took to his Instagram on Wednesday night to share screenshots of text messages on his Instagram story and timeline.

In one post, West seemed to address the break up with Adidas and Gap, two of the larger partners that have severed their business ties with the rapper in recent weeks due to antisemitism.

"As to adidas, you can start to make new designs for footwear, apparel, and accessories immediately,” the text read. “As to Gap, the non-compete expires December 15, 2022,” the text read, in part.

West 'loses billionaire status overnight'

Tuesday, 25 October

The rapper has reportedly lost his billionaire status, according to Forbes. They reported that West's net worth plummeted from $2bn (£1.74bn) to $400m (£348m).

It comes after his brand partnerships came to an abrupt end, including Adidas and Balenciaga.

Adidas reportedly plan to continue selling existing Yeezy products, without West

Tuesday, 25 October

After Adidas cut ties with the rapper, they seemingly plan on selling existing Yeezy products – using their own branding.

“Looking ahead, on our understanding, the company will not sell any Yeezy-branded products and all Yeezy products will be branded under Adidas brand,” Morgan Stanley analyst Edouard Aubin said in a note to clients Tuesday.

“Adidas has the rights to existing Yeezy product designs and can sell these using Adidas branding (not Yeezy branding) following the termination of the Yeezy partnership, which Adidas intends to do” in the first quarter of next year, RBC analyst Piral Dadhania said in a note.

“Speaking to the company, it believes it can limit the loss of revenues through this strategy, and will also save on expenses related to royalty and marketing fees no longer payable in 2023.”

The Kardashians speak out

Monday, 24 October

West's ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, responded to the rapper's anti-Semitic remarks. While she avoided referencing West's name, she took to Instagram Stories on Monday, writing that hate speech is “never OK” or “excusable.”

“I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end,” she penned.

Earlier, several family members posted their own statements in support of Jewish people.

“I support my Jewish friends and the Jewish people,” read the statement, posted to their individual Instagram stories.

Several brands cut ties with West

Many people and organisations ended their business relationships with the Yeezy founder.

  • Adidas

"After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review. We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period," the company said.

On Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League wrote a letter to Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted and Chair Thomas Rabe telling the company to break the bond with the artist in light of his anti-Semitic remark.

On Tuesday (25 October) the brand made the decision to drop the rapper billionaire.

"Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness," the company said in a statement.

  • Balenciaga

On Thursday (20 October), Kering, the parent company of the French fashion house, told Women’s Wear Daily about Balenciaga’s relationship with West.

"Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist," the statement read, according to the outlet.

  • Camille Vasquez

Johnny Depp’s attorney who helped him reach victory in his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard reportedly stopped working with West over the comments.

According toTMZ, Vaquez told her firm, Brown Rudnick, that she was not eager to represent the billionaire rapper, which was less than a week after he hired her.

Sources informed the outlet that despite the well-revered lawyer’s stance, her firm was still open to working with West if he retracted his statements.

  • United Talent Agency (UTA)

Jeremy Zimmer, the CEO, and co-founder of UTA also called out West for his anti-Semitism.

In a statement on Sunday, he wrote: “Regrettably, antisemitism, racism, and many forms of hate and intolerance are part of the fabric of society. Generally, they live as a plague eroding the health of communities and are combatted by understanding, tolerance, and the general goodness of most people.

  • Creative Artists Agency

West was dropped by his agent, Creative Artists Agency, and his completed documentary will not air, Variety reported.

In a statement provided by MRC studio executives, the studio slammed West, saying they can’t support content to encourage his platform.

  • Anna Wintour/Vogue

Ye's latest anti-Semitic rants seem to have been it for Wintour and Vogue as a source told Page Six their professional relationship is over. "Anna has had enough. She has made it very clear inside Vogue that Kanye is no longer part of the inner circle,” the source said.

West debuts 'White Lives Matter' t-shirt

Monday, 3 October

At Paris Fashion Week, the rapper initially sparked controversy by debuting a t-shirt that read 'White Lives Matter'.

Several photos from the event showed Black models wearing the shirt. Additionally, West was pictured alongside right-wing political commentator Candace Owens wearing the shirts.

P. Diddy calls out West on Instagram

Wednesday, 5 October

After attempting to defend West on radio show The Breakfast Club, rapper P. Diddy, whose real is Sean Combs, took to Instagram to make it abundantly clear while he supports West he does not approve of the "White Lives Matter" shirt.

"Don't wear the shirt, don't buy the shirt, don't play with the shirt," Combs said in the video. "It's not a joke."

Adidas says it's re-evaluating it's relationship with West

Thursday, 6 October

In a statement, Adidas, the company who collaborates with West for his fashion line, Yeezy, said it was re-thinking it's relationship with him following the t-shirt design.

“After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review," the company wrote in a statement. "We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period."

West defends himself on Tucker Carlson Tonight

Later that evening, West joined right-wing Fox News host Tucker Carlson on his show to defend his t-shirt.

The rapper claimed he felt his life had been threatened while wearing the shirt.

In the interview, West also called out musician Lizzo for promoting being "unhealthy" and said his ex-wife had a 'close relationship' with the Clintons, among other things.

West suggests P. Diddy is being controlled by Jewish people

Friday 7, October

In a now-deleted post, West shared screenshots of a text conversation between himself and Combs on Instagram in which he seemingly accused Combs of being under the 'influence' of Jewish people.

"Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me," West texted combs. "I told you this was war."

The American Jewish Committee condemned West's actions saying the rants had "dangerous" "anti Semitic undertones"

The posts were later deleted by Meta, Instagram's parent company for violating it's rules.

Instagram restricts West's account

Shortly after posting, West's Instagram account was restricted.

After his account was locked, the rapper decided to move to Twitter to share his thoughts. The last time the rapper was active on the social media platform was November 2020 during the presidential election.

West calls out Mark Zuckerberg

Saturday, 8 October

West called out Meta co-founder and CEO Zuckerberg for restricting his Instagram account. The rapper tweeted a photo of himself and Zuckerberg seemingly singing together asking why he kicked him off Instagram .

West spotted with Brazilian model Juliana Nalú

PageSixshared photos of West with model Nalú leaving a restaurant in Santa Monica, California Saturday evening.

It is unclear what the relationship between the two is but Nalú posted photos wearing Yeezy shades and sporting a "2024" hat that West tweeted.

West makes anti-Semitic tweets

Sunday, 9 October

In the early hours of Sunday morning, West tweeted indicating he planned to attack Jewish people.

He wrote he would "go death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE" when he awoke in the morning and added that he "can't be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also."

"You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda," he wrote in the deleted tweet.

Shortly after he tweeted, "who you think created cancel culture?"

Twitter locks West's account

Monday, 10 October

By Monday, a spokesperson for Twitter confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the platform had locked West's account for an undisclosed amount of time for violating the rules and taken down the tweet.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)