For the past several weeks, Kanye West has been a lightning rod for controversy. Beginning with his Paris Fashion Week YZY Supply show and its featured “White Lives Matter” t-shirts, each time West has made a public statement, he’s expressed some reprehinsible views. While it seems as though he started off trolling for attention, it appears that some of these views are ones he actually earnestly holds, and some entertainment industry leaders are now calling on their peers to boycott Kanye West.
According to Billboard, United Talent Agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer released a company-wide memo to UTA’s staff encouraging them to support the boycott and providing some compelling reasons for his sense of urgency. He wrote, “I’m saddened to write that once again we’re seeing a surge in anti-Semitism in our communities, fueled by Kanye’s comments and a resulting in an incident in Los Angeles yesterday where hateful banners were placed over the 405 freeway.”
Later in the memo, he highlighted how West’s celebrity helps to supercharge the hateful rhetoric he’s been sharing, and how it impacts the younger members of the rapper’s fanbase. “But throughout history some have used their public platform to spew the plague out loud and spread the contagion to dangerous effect. Kanye is the latest to do so, and we’re seeing how his words embolden others to amplify their vile beliefs…. Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful things. Let’s not be lulled into thinking this time it’s different.”
West was recently booted from Twitter for tweeting that he was going to go “Death Con 3 on Jewish people” — a malapropism that might have been funny in a different context — and when he was invited on various interview shows, he continued to share antisemitic views. West was also sued by the family of George Floyd for $250 million for sharing disinformation about Floyd’s death.