Kanye West’s former employees all say: Ye has been antisemitic for years

Last week, CNN ran a piece about Kanye West’s years-long “fascination” with Adolf Hitler and Nazis. While Kanye’s misogyny, bigotry, bullying, ignorance and anti-Blackness has been well known for years, his antisemitism has felt “new” to us in the past two months. That’s because there were people in Kanye’s orbit who were actively covering up his antisemitism. Media outlets like TMZ and Fox News were editing his antisemitism out of their reporting and their interviews with him, and Kanye’s people were desperately trying to keep a lid on his antisemitic bigotry for years. Just how bad was it? Well, NBC News has a new report about how Kanye paid a settlement to a former employee. Many of Kanye’s now-former employees all have similar stories about Kanye’s hate speech:

Ye, the artist previously known as Kanye West, paid a settlement to a former employee who alleged that the rapper and designer had used antisemitic language in the workplace, according to documents reviewed by NBC News.

Additionally, six people who have worked with Ye or witnessed him in professional settings over the past five years told NBC News that they had heard him mention conspiracy theories about Jewish people or praise Hitler. Three of those people were former employees or collaborators and said they recalled multiple instances of Ye using antisemitic language. The other three people said they recalled a 2018 incident in which Ye went on an antisemitic tirade during an interview at TMZ’s offices.

Their accounts, as well as the settlement, suggest that Ye has used such language for years in more instances than previously known to the public, well before his recent antisemitic comments in interviews and online came to light, resulting in him losing a wave of business deals.

Ryder Ripps, a conceptual artist who worked with Ye on and off from 2014 to 2018, said he recalled multiple times when Ye spoke positively about Hitler and the Nazis or mentioned anti-Jewish conspiracies during meetings in the summer and fall of 2018. Ripps, who is Jewish, said he pushed back on Ye’s comments at the time but thought they “didn’t seem that dangerous.” After Ye’s most recent wave of statements, though, Ripps said he sees things differently. “This is dangerous, and disgusting, and actually violent,” he said.

“With this pattern that’s happening and with the doubling and tripling down of all this, it’s pretty obvious that this is some kind of disgusting, hate-filled, strange Nazi obsession,” Ripps said.

In the settlement reviewed by NBC News, Ye paid a former employee who alleged witnessing more than one incident in which Ye praised Hitler or Nazis in business meetings. Ye denied the claims made by the former employee in the agreement. The former employee spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had signed a nondisclosure agreement. NBC News is withholding certain details about the settlement to protect the person’s anonymity but reviewed the settlement along with other correspondence and proof of the payment the former employee said they had received.

[From NBC News]

“Ripps, who is Jewish, said he pushed back on Ye’s comments at the time but thought they ‘didn’t seem that dangerous.’” This is what I keep getting stuck on – it was apparently an open secret for everyone in Kanye’s life, the fact that he’s antisemitic on top of everything else. His family, his business partners, his employees couldn’t keep a lid on his misogyny, his anti-Blackness, his bigotry, but they managed to keep his antisemitism hidden for years. And why was that? Because it “didn’t seem that dangerous”? Eh. It’s truly weird – like, incredibly f–king strange – that absolutely none of this came out while Kanye was “running for president” in 2020. Remember his ratf–ker campaign? Remember how the Republican Party was openly colluding with Kanye in an attempt to poach Black people away from voting for Democrats? Remember all of the discussions on CNN and Fox News about Kanye’s campaign? Weird how journalists never thought to do the most basic research into Kanye, you know, like, talk to his former employees about why they left?

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, screencap courtesy of Fox News.

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44 Responses to “Kanye West’s former employees all say: Ye has been antisemitic for years”

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  1. ME says:

    He was a huge money maker for Adidas, his record label, and truly helped the Kardashians reach new wealth and status. They all had somethng to gain by protecting Kanye for as long as they could. It’s disgusting Kanye would say such horrible things, but it’s also disgusting that the people around him brushed it under the rug because it benefitted them to do so.

    • Mar says:

      You mean Kim didn’t know she was married to a Nazi? The entire family is a disgrace.

      • Miss Owlsyn says:

        Why are the first two comments about this article focusing on the Kardashians?

        They are part of this story but they didn’t create Kanye. He is the garbage, racist, antisemitic dirtbag. We can discuss all of that without using it as an excuse to bash Kim Kardashian and nauseam.

      • ME says:

        @ Miss Owlsyn

        Enablers need to be called out too. In fact, the writer of this article also called out the people in Kanye’s orbit. It’s not just Kim, it’s EVERYONE that knew and did/said nothing because it benefitted them to stay quiet.

      • Miss Owlsyn says:

        Yes, everyone covering for him is in the wrong. But you specifically mentioned how the Kardashians benefitted from association, and the next comment was -just- about Kim. They are disproportionately criticized because people don’t like them. Kanye West could murder Kim Kardashian and how many people would say, “Well yes, Kanye killed her but she and her family used him for fame” ?

        I’m just saying that they aren’t the only parties here to blame but the first that people jump to.

      • C says:

        Well, they played a unique role in that not only were they his family but also some of the most powerful people around him. So, yes, it stands to reason how much they knew of him doing this should be scrutinized a bit. It doesn’t make what he’s doing to Kim or her partners okay so that’s a separate issue.

      • Shanaynay says:

        Totally 100% agree with you

      • Coco says:

        @Miss Owlsyn

        ME comment didn’t focus on the Kardashians , but mentioned that they among others help Keep Kanye antisemitic views under wraps because it benefit of them.

        Not one person on here ever said that they are the ones to blame or the only ones that help cover for him.

      • Fabiola says:

        Kanye is an adult. He and only he is responsible for what comes out of his mouth. No one should be blamed for his actions and thoughts. If people no longer want to do business with him that’s their business.

      • Eleonor says:

        The Kardashians were involved recently, and if I am correct: he has been obsessing over Kim for years.
        He has been relevant for years before marrying Kim.
        Let’s talk about Anna Wintour, J-Z, Beyoncé all of them are saints ?

      • C says:

        Nobody else is to blame for his words. But a lot of other people are to blame for cleaning it up because it made them money.
        And Eleonor – that depends. The Kardashians are saying they heard him say these things. Do we know he was saying them to Anna Wintour et al? He fell out with Jay-Z and Beyonce years ago.

      • Maddie says:

        I don’t know that anyone is blaming Kim but my question would be how could she marry someone like that? That says more about her then anything else

    • M18isyss18 says:

      They didn’t care about anything else but getting as much money as they could off of him as they could. Once he was speaking negatively about them (collaborators, his in laws, Adidas) in public and he’s refusing to play along then we get the truth. These executives, his ex wife and her in laws and everyone who enabled him are disgraceful as are the so called news organizations that covered it up.

  2. Betina says:

    A black Nazi. Wild.

    • ME says:

      Well he’s anti-black so he fits right in with them. I’m sure Nazi’s also believe slavery was a “choice”.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Reminds me of Lovett Ford-Whiteman, a passionate communist who moved from the US to the USSR & is the only known Black man to die in the Gulag. He wrongly assumed that Russian communists would be moved to care about racism as much as class inequality. It never occurred to him that the movement wasn’t designed to embrace his humanity.

      • C says:

        Not taking away from your intended point, just responding to the last sentence:
        That was a bit different. Lenin and Trotsky did a lot of exploration of race relations in the 20’s and 30’s and produced propaganda illuminating the Jim Crow situation in the US. Ford-Whiteman had extensive positive experiences in Russia until the US recognized the Soviet Union in 1933 and Stalin was instructed to focus on limiting anti-American propaganda if he wanted economic assistance with his 5-Year-Plan, and Ford-Whiteman was still actively organizing and discussing the need for Communist reform of race relations in the US as well as opposing Stalin himself.

        But I get what you were saying overall.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        @C Yes, Ford-Whiteman, like other Black communists who fled to the USSR, had many positive experiences there compared with the racism they faced in the US. And Stalin’s rise changed everything, of course. There was a lot more nuance to his life than perhaps my comment conveyed. The New Yorker did a great longform piece about Ford-Whiteman just over a year ago.

    • atorontogal says:

      Does he not realize Hitler would’ve killed him too?

      • Snoodle says:

        The Nazis weren’t too concerned about black people (so long as they didn’t try to ‘mingle’), mainly because there weren’t a lot of black people in Germany at the time and there weren’t a lot of RICH black people in Germany during a MASSIVE crippling economic depression. Their presence in Germany was blamed on the Jews and the French.

        So, mass forced sterilization of underage mixed-race Germans of African heritage, the usual discrimination with jobs and housing, no higher education allowed, etc., etc.. No ghettos, concentration camps, or mass murder, though. I think significantly less everyday violence and vigilante murders experience by black people in Germany at the hands of other groups than you’d expect to see in, say, the American South, but the records are a bit SPOTTY, shall we say.

    • MaryContrary says:

      Along with Nick Cannon and Kyrie Irving :/

  3. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    As far as I’m concerned at this point, everyone in his orbit (past, present, future) is justifiably racist, bad for business, bad for the country, bad for humanity.

  4. Lizzie Bathory says:

    God, he’s such an asshole. Shame on everyone who covered for him over the years, but I’m glad this is finally coming out. Kanye being radioactive to brands will limit his ability to keep doing damage.

    • harpervalleypta says:

      So how many people around him for the past several years just kept saying, “Kanye isn’t really anti-semitic/a Nazi/an admirer of Hitler, this is just his mental illness speaking”? And then convinced themselves and whoever they were dealing with that he didn’t really *mean* it, that he was just being provocative.

      We’ve certainly heard those excuses for the past few weeks about his actions, but I think most people have finally stopped believing them. “Really likes Hitler” has never been listed in a DSM as a symptom of bipolar disorder.

      • Malificent says:

        (armchair psychiatrist here) Kanye certainly seems to be in the middle of an unmedicated manic phase at the moment. And that could certainly influence extreme views and statements and need for attention. However, he hasn’t been in a manic phase, or completely lacking treatment, for the entirety of the last decade. And it sounds like he’s been consistently making these statements for a long, long time.

  5. Chantal says:

    Nah, TPTB were keeping close tabs & documentation on the useful idiot until it was evident they could no longer control him. Then they delivered the well deserved smackdown. The enablers seem to be in full on panic mode!
    He is now saying he doesn’t (or soon won’t) even own the Yeezy name or brand. I don’t know if any brand associated with him will be as profitable as that one. Was he ever a billionaire (remember PMK “reporting” Kylie’s “earnings” before Forbes revealed the truth?). Bc losing billions within 72 hours is insane!

  6. K says:

    All this does is highlight how disgusting alot of famous people are ( Kanye, Johnny Depp Brad Pitt etc) and that people are willing to do any cover up that they need. We have seen time and again these stars, athletes etc committing sex abuse, rape domestic violence etc and it all is hidden. Seems like justice is joke as long as the money keeps rolling in.

  7. Eurydice says:

    It’s not at all weird how journalists didn’t do any research. If it was an open secret, then they knew about it, too. Just as they knew about Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer, etc., etc., etc.

  8. Kelly says:

    Is this actually new, though? I’m sure I’ve heard about his anti-semitism before. It just makes sense to me, attention-seeking contrarians often develop some strange fascination with the nazis, because they grew up listening to people telling them they are the worst and so they feel the need to defend them. That’s what I interpreted that “not dangerous” remark as, like they know he’s just rambling about this because he feels a need to be contrarian on everything.

    • BB says:

      Well it’s brand new to me.
      That kind of explain the strange hate he has for Drake. I never understood why he was so obsessed but now, I think I do…

    • Emily_C says:

      I have definitely heard about it before.

  9. Colby says:

    I read that he wanted to call one of his albums “Hitler” – it was called “Ye” instead.

    • pk says:

      We all should have known something was up when he designed that jacket with the Confederate flag on it. Anyone remember that? It was when he was dating Kim, not even engaged yet I don’t think, so maybe 2013 ish ? It got some backlash but people forgot quickly.

      • BB says:

        Yes. It wasn’t just a jacket, the whole Yeezus merch came with the confederate flag on it. My first Kanye alarm. So yeah, 2013, shortly after North was born.
        I was a huge fan of him back then. I thought it could be a reappropriation of the flag of some sort. I remember being bummed not being able to buy merch because of the flag, because I loved the album.

  10. jferber says:

    An adjacent horrible story is that trump, starting he run for presidency again after the midterms, will double down on antisemitism, using the old trope that Jews are foreigners with ties to another country (Israel, I guess?) Who the fuck knows. So in addition to the racism, sexism, corruption, etc., he’ll be riling up folks against the Jews (from a Hitler playbook, no doubt). Expect more synagogue mass shootings, antisemitic assaults/murders and antisemitic graffiti. It would truly be a blessing to the world if he would just go away in one way or another.

  11. jferber says:

    Because Jarred and Ivanka are spineless cowards who will say NOTHING about antisemitism. They have no real values that they’d fight for. As long as their money train keeps rolling along, they’re good. Their only true value is themselves. They would not fight for other Jews.

  12. GreatBearer says:

    Long time reader, first time poster here. This guy is such a douche canoe on so many levels, I just cannot understand why he’s been around this long without being canceled. He is a cancer to anyone he encounters and I just have to put it out there that he totally looks like he has an unkempt pubic bush on his face. Ugh!