Amid calls to cut ties with Kanye “Ye” West over his repeated antisemitic comments, CAA stopped representing the artist within the last month, a source tells The Hollywood Reporter.
The Century City-based talent agency had worked with the artist, but his espousing anti-Semitic rhetoric in multiple recent interviews has proved indefensible to some business partners. With CAA ending its run with West, Hollywood’s major talent agencies — including WME and UTA — have supported calls to end working relationship with the rapper and fashion mogul.
On Oct. 23, Jeremy Zimmer, who leads rival agency UTA, sent a companywide email titled “Rise of Anti Semitism and Hate,” writing that West’s comments “embolden others to amplify their vile beliefs.” The UTA CEO added: “We can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-Semitism. Please support the boycott of Kanye West.”
Days earlier, Endeavor and WME mogul Ari Emanuel penned a column in the FinancialTimes saying that “silence” isn’t an option for the business community given West’s anti-Semitism. “Those who continue to do business with West are giving his misguided hate an audience,” Emanuel wrote.
While West has a lucrative deal with Adidas for his Yeezy shoe and fashion line, other major partners — including French label Balenciaga, as well as production studio MRC, which was working on a documentary with the artist — have publicly distanced themselves and cut ties. “We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform,” wrote MRC’s leaders, while Balenciaga noted that it doesn’t have “any relationship” with West moving forward.
While the rapper still has official accounts on Twitter and Instagram, posts containing antisemitic comments — including a tweet on Oct. 8 that called for “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” — have been removed from the social media giants’ platforms. In seeming response, West inked a deal to take ownership of the small “free speech” social media app Parler on Oct. 17. That app is run by CEO George Farmer, the husband of conservative activist Candace Owens, who gave a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt along with West at Paris Fashion Week earlier this month.
The artist — whose net worth is estimated at $2 billion, per Forbes‘ calculations — had his last full-length album, 2021’s donda, distributed by Def Jam Recordings, a division of the publicly traded Universal Music Group. In a tweet on Oct. 17, UMG stated, “There is no place for antisemitism in our society,” but made no reference to West.
West’s media tour this month has included stops with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, rapper NORE on the podcast Drink Fieldsand Chris Cuomo at NewsNation. “I classify as Jew also, so I actually can’t be an anti-Semite,” West told Cuomo.