Amid calls to cut ties with Kanye “Ye” West over his repeated anti-Semitic comments, CAA stopped representing the artist in the past month, source says The Hollywood Reporter.
The Century City-based talent agency had worked with the artist, but his anti-Semitic rhetoric in several recent interviews proved indefensible to some business partners. As CAA ends its collaboration with West, major Hollywood talent agencies – including WME and UTA – have backed calls to end the working relationship with the rapper and fashion mogul.
On Oct. 23, Jeremy Zimmer, who runs rival agency UTA, sent a company-wide 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 cannot support hate speech, bigotry or anti-Semitism. Please support the boycott of Kanye West.
A few days earlier, Endeavor and WME mogul Ari Emanuel wrote a column in the FinancialTimes saying “silence” is not an option for the business world given West’s anti-Semitism. “Those who continue to do business with West give an audience to his misguided hatred”, Emanuel wrote.
While West has a lucrative deal with Adidas for his Yeezy footwear and fashion line, other major partners – including French label Balenciaga, as well as production studio MRC, which was working on a documentary with the artist – have publicly distanced themselves and cut ties. “We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform,” MRC executives wrote, while Balenciaga noted that he had “no relationship” with West moving forward.
While the rapper still has official accounts on Twitter and Instagram, posts containing anti-Semitic comments — including an Oct. 8 tweet calling for “Death Con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” — have been removed from the social media giants’ platforms. In apparent response, West signed an agreement to take ownership of the small “free speech” social media app Parler on October 17. This app is run by CEO George Farmer, the husband of conservative activist Candace Owens, who donned a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt with West at Paris Fashion Week earlier this month.
The entertainer – whose net worth is estimated at $2 billion, per Forbes‘ calculations – had his last full album, 2021 donda, distributed by Def Jam Recordings, a division of the publicly traded Universal Music Group. In an Oct. 17 tweet, UMG said, “There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society,” but made no reference to West.
West’s media tour this month has included stops with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, rapper NORE on the podcast Drink championsand Chris Cuomo at NewsNation. “I also classify as Jewish, so I can’t be anti-Semitic,” West told Cuomo.