Boy George has lashed out at Kim Kardashian for failing to speak out against ex-husband Kanye West following a series of anti-semitic remarks made by the rapper and entrepreneur.
West has been universally condemned for sharing a number of vitriolic statements about the Jewish community, among them a tweet a posted to his official Twitter account in which he claims to wish ‘death con 3 on Jewish people.’
His views have prompted growing calls for the unpredictable star to be dropped by sports giant Adidas, who manufacture his Yeezy footwear and clothing brand and make upwards of $1.5 billion annually off the deal.
But Culture Club singer George, 61, has criticised Kim Kardashian – who co-parents four children with West – for not using her considerable social media presence to speak out against her ex-husband.
Outrage: Boy George has lashed out at Kim Kardashian for failing to speak out against ex-husband Kanye West following a series of anti-semitic remarks made by the rapper
In a video shared with Instagram followers on Saturday evening, he said: ‘I’m kind of appalled that not more artists have come out and spoke against what he’s saying.
‘I’m appalled that Kim Kardashian hasn’t come out and added her voice to this debate, because this woman has children with Kanye, so she must understand as a mother what it feels like for little Jewish children to hear these f***ing comments, how demoralising and terrifying it must be.’
Visibly emotional, he added: ‘As a gay man I have experienced years of prejudice, you know, so the idea of doing that to someone else based on their race or their colour or their sexuality or their gender is just f***ing appalling to me, and it should be appalling to you.’
Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel recently spoke out in favor of Adidas dropping Kanye West in the wake of a slew of anti-Semitic comments generated by the controversial rapper and businessman.
In an op-ed for the Financial Times, the Endeavor co-CEO wrote that there should be ‘no tolerance anywhere for West’s anti-Semitism’ and encouraged brands to full-stop cease partnering and working with the designer.
‘Apple and Spotify, which host West’s music, whoever organizes West’s tours, and Adidas, which collaborates with West on his fashion line, should all stop working with him,’ wrote Emanuel – essentially calling for a blacklisting.
Should Adidas and the other brands listed by Emanuel drop West, his status as a billionaire, which is largely pegged to the valuation of YEEZY, could fall away.
The German shoe company makes about $1.5 billion annually off of its partnership with West thanks to the popularity of YEEZY which started in 2015.
In just a few short weeks, West, who now goes by the name Ye, has tweeted that he was going to go ‘death con 3 on Jewish people,’ in addition to making a number of other vitriolic statements that play to negative tropes about Jewish people.
‘Silence is dangerous,’ continued Emanuel. ‘It allows forms of hatred and racism, including anti-Semitism, to spread and become normalized.
‘It coarsens and degrades our society and country.’
Emanuel, himself a Jew, is widely considered to be one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry. West has repeatedly blamed the ‘Jewish media’ and ‘Jewish community’ in the music industry for toying with him.
Emanuel is also good friends with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, with whom West has had a friendly relationship in recent years.
It is unclear how Musk, once he officially takes over Twitter, would manage West’s anti-Semitic and otherwise offensive statements. West was suspended from the platform following his initial tirade earlier this month.
‘Those who continue to do business with West are giving his misguided hate an audience,’ wrote Emanuel.
Adidas’ ties with Hitler and Nazi Germany
The Dassler brothers, who took the trade names of Adidas and Puma, began shoe production in the 1920s in their hometown of Herzogenaurach, Germany, a hot spot for shoe making in Bavaria with more than 100 individual shoemakers.
What distinguished Rudolf and Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler was not just their willingness to become members of the Nazi party, ensuring their business success under Aryan domination, but their ambitions.
With the expansion of the war in December 1943, Hitler converted civilian business operations to military manufacturing.
Now instead of making sports shoes, the Dasslers produced boots for Nazi soldiers as well as the Panzerschreck bazookas in their factory.
Both brothers were called to duty and Rudolf joined the Gestapo.
Adi served only one year while his brother stayed in the service until the end of the war.
When Rudolf found himself in an American internment camp, he suspected he had been denounced by his brother who was now busy making baseball and basketball boots for Americans.
A lifelong grudge separated the brothers. Their single company was split into two — Adi started ‘Adidas’ and Rudolf launched ‘Puma’
‘This is a moment in history where the stakes are high and being open about our values, and living them, is essential. Silence and inaction are not an option.’
Adidas is in an especially tenuous position given its history as a Nazi-run company that manufactured boots for Hitler’s army as well as Panzerschreck bazookas used in the war.
The Anti-Defamation League also wrote an open letter to Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted and Chair Thomas Rabe urging the brand to drop its collaboration with YEEZY.
The organization wrote, ‘In light of Kanye West’s increasingly strident antisemitic remarks over the past few weeks, we were disturbed to learn that Adidas plans to continue to release new products from his Yeezy brand without any seeming acknowledgement of the controversy surrounding his most recent remarks.
‘We are surprised and concerned that Adidas – a brand that supports inclusion and diversity – continues not only to support the Ye product line, but to release new products even as he continues to espouse hateful antisemitic ideas to his 31 million Twitter followers.
‘We urge Adidas to reconsider supporting the Ye product line and to issue a statement making clear that the Adidas company and community has no tolerance whatsoever for antisemitism.’
West’s partnership with Adidas has been under review since early October.
‘Adidas has always been about creativity, innovation and supporting athletes and artists to achieve their vision. The adidas Yeezy partnership is one of the most successful collaborations in our industry’s history,’ said the company.
‘We also recognize that all successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values.’
According to bank estimates, YEEZY is valued at $4-$5 billion. That figure, however, was based on the brand’s relationship with both Gap and Adidas.
Earlier this year, West abruptly terminated his relationship with Gap Inc., a decision that reportedly wiped out $1 billion in the valuation of YEEZY.
If the Adidas partnership goes south too, following West’s waterfall of antisemitic comments, his net worth could plummet another few billion, placing him ever nearer to mere multi-multi-millionaire status.
His contract with Adidas runs through 2026.
Celebrities including Amy Schumer and David Schwimmer have also supported the ADL’s call for Adidas to drop West.
Schwimmer, 55, recently shared a video of West, 45, saying: ‘The thing I can say about Adidas is, I can literally say anti-Semitic s**t and they can’t drop me, I can say anti-Semitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what? Now what?
Schwimmer was supported by Friends co-star Jen Aniston in his post calling for the brand to drop Ye.
While the ex-husband of Kim Kardashian has been known to have unpredictable outbursts on social media – he was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 2016 – his rants have become more frequent this year.
Recently, West hired Camille Vasquez, the attorney who defended Johnny Depp, to handle his business interests.
Vasquez, who gained national attention due to her representation of Depp in his heated defamation trial with ex-wife Amber Heard, will be among the lawyers at the Brown Rudnick firm now working with West, TMZ reports.
The realization that West has lawyered up comes after high-fashion brand Balenciaga dropped West as a business partner.