Kanye “Ye” West’s antisemitic comments in several interviews have led to a growing corporate boycott of him. This has put more pressure on music streaming services to remove the rapper-turned-fashion mogul’s albums from their sites.
In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek talked about the situation. He said that Ye’s comments were “awful,” but that his music did not break Spotify’s rules against hate. Ek also said that it was up to Ye’s label, the Def Jam imprint of Universal Music Group, to pull his music if they felt they had to.
“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” Ek told Reuters, adding, “It’s up to his label, if they want to take action or not.” Ek said that Ye’s antisemitic comments would have been removed from Spotify if he had said them on a podcast or recording. However, the rapper hadn’t said anything like that.
From 2002 until 2016, Def Jam owns the rights to Ye’s songs. The rapper’s contract with the record company he had been with for a long time ended when his 2021 album DONDA came out.
Def Jam said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that its relationship with Ye as a recording artist, its partnership with the GOOD Music label venture, and Ye’s merchandise agreement with Bravado all ended in 2021.
“There is no place for antisemitism in our society. We are deeply committed to combating antisemitism and every other form of prejudice.”
After Ye made several antisemitic comments in interviews and tweets, the biggest names in Hollywood started publicly asking people to stop listening to him. Ari Emanuel, the head of WME, asked Ye’s business partners, like Spotify and Apple Music, to stop working with him.
Since Emanuel’s plea, the talent agency CAA dropped Ye as a client, MRC Entertainment scrapped a finished documentary on the rapper, and Balenciaga, GAP, and Vogue all cut ties with him.
On Monday, Ye’s biggest corporate backer, Adidas, ended a very profitable partnership with the Yeezy brand.
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