Kanye West Loses Another Major Deal Amid Anti-Semitic Controversy

Kanye "Ye" West has lost another potential business opportunity. His purchase of Parler, the right-wing-friendly "free speech social media" platform, is dead in the water. The deal's termination was announced shortly after West appeared on Infowars, hosted by conspiracy-monger Alex Jones. He expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and made antisemitic remarks about former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the show. "Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler," the company said in a Dec. 1 Twitter statement. Parlement Technologies stated that in mid-November, the decision was made "in the interest of both parties." The company continued, "Parler will continue to pursue future opportunities for growth and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community." In October, West and Parler announced a provisional deal for West to acquire the company. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the parties expected the deal to close. "In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves," West said in a statement at the time.

Over the past few months, West has already faced significant backlash for his antisemitic remarks, including losing his Adidas sneakers contract. As widespread pressure mounted for it to cut ties with West, the sportswear company released a statement, saying it "does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech" and that West's recent comments were "unacceptable, hateful and dangerous," violating the company's "values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness." According to the company, all payments to West and sales and production of West's Yeezy branded products have ceased. Due to this, Adidas said its fourth-quarter sales would decline by $246 million. Having partnered with West since 2013, Adidas expanded its relationship with the musician in 2016. 

However, Adidas placed the partnership "under review" in October after West wore a "White Lives Matter" t-shirt, publicly defending what the Anti-Defamation League considers a "hate slogan." Later, West continued his tirade against Jewish people on the Drink Champs Podcast, saying, "I can say antisemitic s- and Adidas cannot drop me." He was also restricted on Twitter for threatening to "Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE." Adidas is the newest addition to a list of brands that have denounced West due to his statements. Balenciaga and Vogue publicly cut ties, and West's talent agency, CAA, dropped him as a client. In September, West ended his two-year relationship with Gap, citing "substantial noncompliance" and saying he had "no choice but to terminate their collaboration." He claimed the company did not open Yeezy stores or distributed merchandise as previously agreed.