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Balenciaga Reportedly Drops Kanye West Deal, Capping A Week Of Self-Inflicted Setbacks For The Rap Icon

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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Kanye West continued to be the center of controversy this week, prompting fashion brand Balenciaga to reportedly cut ties with the seemingly troubled hip-hop icon.

On Friday, trade journal Business of Fashion reported that Balenciaga ended its relationship with West following Ye’s appearance on the Drink Champs podcast last week where he inaccurately claimed that George Floyd was killed by the drug fentanyl and doubled down on earlier anti-Semitic comments.

Balenciaga joins other retailers such as The Gap, who backed away from its partnership with West in September, and Adidas, who on Thursday told CNN that it was reviewing its current deal with Ye.

“After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review,” Adidas told CNN. “We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period.”

Kanye also drew criticism this week after wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt during a recent fashion show and for distributing the shirts to homeless people in Los Angeles, according to the New York Post.

West defended wearing the shirt during an appearance on Fox News, telling host Tucker Carlson that he thought it was something he did on instinct, comparing it to disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding’s famed triple axel.

“I do certain things from a feeling,” Ye said. “I just channel the energy. It just feels right. It’s using a gut instinct, a connection with God, and just brilliance.”

Endeavor boss Ari Emanuel also joined the fray this week and in an op-ed for the Finacial Times, he called on businesses to stop working with Ye.

“West is not just any person — he is a pop culture icon with millions of fans around the world,” Emanuel wrote. “And among them are young people whose views are still being formed. This is why it is necessary for all of us to speak out. Hatred and anti-Semitism should have no place in our society, no matter how much money is at stake.”

“Those who continue to do business with West are giving his misguided hate an audience. There should be no tolerance anywhere for West’s anti-Semitism. This is a moment in history where the stakes are high and being open about our values, and living them, is essential. Silence and inaction are not an option,” Emanuel added.

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