The Rolling Stone report alleged Kanye West used intimidation tactics with employees Photo: AFP/File

adidas probing allegations about Kanye West's behavior

By Sam Reeves

adidas said Thursday it was investigating claims against Kanye West after a report detailed alleged inappropriate behavior, just weeks after the German sportswear giant ended its partnership with the rapper.

U.S. magazine Rolling Stone reported claims that the rapper played pornography to adidas staff in meetings, and discussed porn and showed an intimate photo of ex-wife Kim Kardashian in job interviews.

It said former members of the team involved in "Yeezy" -- the product line designed with the rapper -- had released a letter alleging adidas executives were aware of the behavior, which went on for years, but turned a blind eye.

"It is currently not clear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true," adidas said in a statement. "However, we take these allegations very seriously and have taken the decision to launch an independent investigation of the matter immediately to address the allegations."

The Rolling Stone report, citing unnamed former staff, alleged the rapper used intimidation tactics with employees, which were often directed towards women.

In the letter, the ex-Yeezy employees urged adidas to address "the toxic and chaotic environment that Kanye West created".

The new revelations came after adidas last month terminated its lucrative tie-up with West -- known formally as Ye -- after a series of anti-Semitic outbursts by the star.

At the time, the company said his comments were "unacceptable, hateful and dangerous".

The sports outfitter took a heavy financial blow from the move, which it forecast would cuts its 2022 net income in half.

In its latest statement Thursday, adidas said it has been and continues to be "actively engaged in conversations with our employees about the events that lead to our decision to end the partnership.

"They have our full support and as we're working through the details of the termination."

adidas began a review of its relationship with West after he appeared at a Paris fashion show wearing a shirt emblazoned with "White Lives Matter", a slogan created as a backlash to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Days later he was locked out of Twitter and Instagram over anti-Semitic threats.

The artist was associated with rival sportswear company Nike for years but broke away in 2013, lending his name to adidas as they launched their first Yeezy shoe in 2015 -- a partnership that went on to make him a billionaire.

Along with Beyonce, Stella McCartney and Pharrell Williams, West has been one of the top names used by adidas to boost sales, especially online.

But rights campaigners and entertainment world figures had heaped pressure on adidas to stop working with the rapper.

U.S. clothing company Gap and Paris-based fashion house Balenciaga have also recently ended tie-ups with West.

Earlier this month, adidas named a new CEO -- Bjorn Gulden, chief of rival outfitter Puma. As well as the fallout from the West controversy, he faces the task of improving sales that have been hit by Covid restrictions in key market China.

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

From a marketing perspective it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to name a fashion line with something that so easily rhymes with sleazy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Marries a 'reality' star who got famous for sex tapes and body construction. Has a rap career. Sets up a 'ministry' but is affiliated with the likes of Marilyn Manson. Kisses up to the antichrist trump. Sets up a parochial school where the kids' parents sign 'I'll never sue ya' waivers/disclose agreements. Oh, and stealing money in that enterprise too. Sneaker sales contracts to boot.

Then he sasses off the hateful yapper, bashing Jews. I'm not Jewish but I don't believe this antisemitic bullcrap one bit. What did they ever do to deserve getting 6 million of them snuffed out by the rancid Nazis? Of course when I was in college it was Muslims getting that treatment in Yugoslavia and the Tutsis in Rwanda. I don't care who or what it is or what the excuses are because there are none.* *Jew-bashing is never cool!

Now nobody wants anything to do with poor baby Ye (except Muskrat). And more more allegations and dirty deeds and doo-doo is being discovered every day. I don't feel one bit of sympathy for this devil. This Jew-bashing Jerk did it all to himself. Antisemitism, racism of any kind, Islamophobia, homophobia, any kind of hate is juvenile at best. There's no place for it today. Diaper Don is the most vivid example. And now Ye is being revealed as a bullying pornographic antisemitic thief and thug. His house of cards is tumbling and his career may soon be ending. WAH.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ironic, considering Adidas was founded by a full-fledged Nazi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites