Music

Spotify CEO Blasts Kanye West For “Awful” Anti-Semitic Rants… But Won’t Remove Music

In an interview with Reuters, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek slammed Kanye West for spreading “awful” anti-semitic comments, but will not pull his music.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek may not be a fan of Kanye West‘s recent anti-semitic rants, but his music will not be removed from the platform. On Tuesday (October 25), Ek spoke with Reuters about Ye‘s “awful” comments, but explained that it didn’t violate the streaming service’s anti-hate policies. Ek added that the decision to pull his music from Spotify goes to his label, the Def Jam imprint of Universal Music Group.

“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” he said. “It’s up to his label, if they want to take action or not.” Ek then explained that if West had spread his anti-semitic theories in a podcast or music recording, it would be removed from Spotify per the platform’s anti-hate speech policy, which began in 2018.

Def Jam Recordings owns the copyrights to Ye’s music from 2002 to 2016, but the artist’s G.O.O.D. Music contract with his former record company expired in 2021 when he released his tenth album, Donda. In related news, Adidas became one of the most recent brands to cut ties with West after conducting a “peer review” of their partnership.

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

Adidas continued: “After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”

The termination will impact Adidas’ 2022 net income by €250 million ($246 million), although the company said the decline will be short-lived.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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