This past Paris Fashion Week seems to have divided Kanye West’s life into before and after. He showed up to his show wearing a hoodie that reads White Lives Matter – which is the exact opposite of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement slogan. Explaining his epatage, Kanye said, “All America has in store for us is poverty, imprisonment and death. So don’t claim that African American lives matter. Don’t play with that.” West also made a number of controversial anti-Semitic remarks on his social media.
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The backlash didn’t have to wait long. West, who is one of 45th U.S. President Donald Trump’s most prominent supporters, felt a culture of withdrawal (a sociopolitical term that describes a public person who has become persona non grata in an instant, devoid of support and sense of experience in social or professional communities).
The social networks of the rapper with a multi-million audience were blocked, many leading American media refused to mention the musician’s name any more, many radio companies and streaming services announced that their tracks were banned, and long-standing partners severed contracts with Kanye. This includes Adidas, with whom the rapper had collaborated since 2013 on a line of expensive and popular Yeezy sneakers. According to investment bank Cowen, Adidas derived 4 to 8 percent of its sales from Yeezy products.
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Because of the super profits, the company was hesitant to respond to the rapper, who said, among other things, that the Germans, the founders of Adidas, had a direct link to the Nazis. As a result, the outfit manufacturer issued a press release stating that the company was “terminating its partnership with Kanye West effective immediately.” According to Forbes, West lost about $1.5 billion because of this and is no longer considered a billionaire (his fortune is now estimated at $400 million).
Lakers superstar LeBron James said that his program The Shop with West will not be published. The forward felt Kanye expressed “dangerous stereotypes” and “incited hatred” during the taping.
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