- Lexi Schwartz and Penelope Kraus
Hate speech has been an issue in the US for ages. Negative messages have been spread through different media outlets for years, but nowadays, this is predominantly done through social media by celebrities, influencers, and internet trolls alike. Being a public figure comes with responsibility. While many in the spotlight have realized their effect, many have not, which is troublesome.
Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, is a music icon, a former partner to many clothing brands, and a fashion designer himself. However, West has a history of posting controversial comments, which often receive widespread attention as they are frequently laced with hate speech. The most recent example is his antisemitic comments on social media. The effects of these posts have been seen worldwide.
West’s antisemitic comments led him down the wrong path in terms of his career. First, Instagram and Twitter took down his accounts, hardly a first for West. Kanye West is known for speaking his mind on the internet, whether it be about his own family or a group.
“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE"
On October 8, West tweeted, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
The Jewish community, West’s now-former business partners, and most of the media were appalled by his statements. Radios stopped playing West’s music and as a result, his daily radio audience on average dropped by 21.4%. Balenciaga stopped their partnership with West, making him unable in Balenciaga’s Summer 2023 show for Paris Fashion Week.
Kanye’s “recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness” - Adidas
Interested in a documentary about Kanye West, the rapper, billionaire, fashion designer, and songwriter? Sorry, it will never air to the public. He is also no longer a part of Billboard records. What may be the biggest letdown to his career is the end of his relationship with Adidas, which had partnered with his own brand, Yeezy. Adidas expressed that Kanye’s “recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.” West subsequently lost his billionaire status, as his net worth is now $400 million.
Lots of Edgemont students like Wests' music and brand, but his slander against Jews may alter peopleś opinion of him. One anonymous Edgemont source affirms that “West’s comments on Judaism reflect those of a deeply anti-semitic person. His comments have no place in the modern era and the consequences that he has already felt are completely justified. West’s hate speech implicitly gives permission to, and an air of legitimacy, to his bigoted views.”
“The issue isn’t his comment, but rather those whom he inspired to speak out about their anti-semitic thoughts”
Another anonymous student from Edgemont says, “The issue isn’t his comment, but rather those whom he inspired to speak out about their anti-semitic thoughts,” which can lead to more aggression towards the Jewish population. An Edgemont student additionally reports that West is “ignorant and hateful and I don’t support him, but I still will listen to his music.” After all, Graduation isn’t going to become a bad album because of his anti-semitic slander… right? However, his behavior might impact streaming habits.
“Hate speech is never OK or excusable”
Kanye’s ignorant and bigoted hate speech has undoubtedly affected his career and alienated part of his fan base. His instability and hateful speech have led to his own family commenting on the matter. His ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her sister Khloe have come out to say that they don’t agree with Kanye’s public statements. Kim stated that “Hate speech is never OK or excusable,” and that she stands “together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.” While his family and fans have often let his controversial comments slide, this particular rampage seems to have hit a nerve. It is unclear whether Kanye’s career will ever make a full recovery.