Kanye West says he lost $2bn in a single day this week after losing several major partnerships over his antisemitic comments.
On Thursday, the rapper, also known as Ye, posted a message to Ari Emanuel, the CEO of entertainment and media agency Endeavor who had urged companies to cease doing business with the rapper over his recent spate of hateful comments about Jewish people.
“Ari Emanuel, I lost 2 billion dollars in one day and I’m still alive,” West wrote on Instagram, having regained control of his account after being restricted on the platform for sharing hate speech. “This is love speech. I still love you. God still loves you. The money is not who I am. The people is who I am.”
It had been widely speculated that West lost his billionaire status this week after several business and fashion associates cut ties over several antisemitic comments made by the rapper in recent weeks, and after he promoted clothing with the white supremacist slogan “White Lives Matter” at Paris fashion week. Subsequent antisemitic incidents in Los Angeles have rattled California political leaders, as well as entertainment and fashion figures in LA who had previously worked with the rapper.
Adidas, Balenciaga, Gap and other companies have said they would no longer work with West, his Adidas partnership alone worth an estimated €250m. His longtime talent agency CAA also dropped him, while a recently completed documentary about the musician has been shelved.
In an article for the Financial Times last week, Emanuel wrote: “There should be no tolerance anywhere for West’s antisemitism. This is a moment in history where the stakes are high and being open about our values, and living them, is essential.”
After West was dropped by Adidas, the rapper and fashion designer showed up “unannounced and without invitation” at the corporate offices of footwear brand Skechers in Los Angeles. West was escorted out of the building, with the company saying it “has no intention of working with West” and that he was engaged in “unauthorised filming”.
On Wednesday, West’s non-accredited private school in California, Donda Academy, announced that it would be closing with immediate effect. In an email to parents, the principal, Jason Angell, said the decision came “at the discretion of our founder”, according to Hollywood Unlocked, but that it plans to “begin afresh in September of 2023”.