Several brands have cut ties with Kanye West in the heat of his recent controversies. Following some anti-semitic comments he made, top companies like Adidas, Balenciaga, GAP, and Vogue ended their partnerships with the rapper.
While these a-list brands have cut ties with him, Spotify insists they have no plans to remove West’s music from the platform. The streaming platform’s CEO Daniel Ek revealed this after Hollywood broker Ari Emanuel joined the call for Spotify to pull his songs.
Universal’s music label Def Jam also spoke against the comments from the star. While Ek defended West’s freedom of speech, it wasn’t the first time the company refused to punish artists for their controversies. Donda sports president Antonio Brown also defended the star following the remarks.
Keep reading to find out more.
Daniel Ek Defended Kanye West
While Ek, Spotify’s CEO, criticized West for his “awful” comments, he noted that he has no plan to remove the rapper’s songs from Spotify. The 39-year-old revealed that it would only be a problem if the “Hurricane” rapper had broadcast the “awful comments” on a Spotify podcast.
Ek explained per The Post, that while he personally felt attacked, his hands were tied since the star didn’t violate any of the policies on the platform. He also noted that West had a right to sing whatever he wanted to. Ek said, “It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy.”
The CEO also noted that it was up to Ye’s record label to “take action” concerning his music or not. He then assured fans that he would “respect their wishes” if they decided to take down his music. Until then, his songs would remain available for streaming and download.
The “All of the Lights” rapper, who is now under DONDA, ended his contract with Def Jam label in 2021. The record label that owns the copyright to his songs from 2002 to 2016 expressed how disappointed they were by his comments. While they didn’t call for Spotify to pull his songs, they noted that there was “no place for antisemitism in our society.”
Spotify Faced Backlash Before
This wasn’t the first time Spotify faced backlash for their decision to keep or remove an artist from their platform. In 2018, the streaming platform pulled R Kelly’s songs and playlists from their app after a court found the singer and songwriter guilty of sexual misconduct-related offenses.
However, after some threats to boycott the app and comments from other artists, the platform went back on its decision. They also provided a mute option for users to block recommendations from artists they disliked on their accounts. While the streaming app is reluctant to remove West’s songs, other top brands have dropped West since his comments.
Kanye West Lost Other Partnerships
Ye lost a lot of deals following his recent scandal. The star promoted some anti-semantic views through his now-suspended Twitter and Instagram accounts. In one of the comments, West noted that he wanted to try “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” This triggered talent brand CAA and highly-rated fashion companies like GAP and Balenciaga to sever their deals with him.
The star also lost his collaboration deal with footwear and clothing brand Adidas. News of this went around after West claimed that the company couldn’t “drop him” because of the anti-semantic things.” He said, “Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”
After the brand dropped West, the star’s network plummeted to $400 million, ending his acclaimed billionaire status and pulling him from the Forbes list. While several brands and celebs are against the “JESUS IS KING” rapper, Antonio Brown remains behind him and plans to continue as the DONDA Sports president.
Antonio Brown Stands Behind Kanye West
— AB (@AB84) October 26, 2022
Ex-NFL receiver Brown defended the star amid the criticism. In response to the backlash, he revealed that he was standing with West’s comments and would remain in West’s DONDA Sports agency as its president. The ex-player, who was last in the NFL last year, wrote on Twitter, “I remain true to the mission of Donda and our amazing staff and community.”
He continued, “I remain committed to bringing new ideas, experiences, and designs to our world. I remain in support of the humanity that is Ye.” Brown’s announcement came some hours after Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown from the LA Rams and Boston Celtics revealed that they were resigning from Donda Sports.