Photo: Jason Persse

Adidas Investigates Kanye West Workplace Misconduct

Following an anonymous letter from ex-employees accusing the German sportswear brand of looking the other way, Adidas is investigating allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct by Kanye West.

Facing pressure to follow other brands and companies in ending partnerships with the infamous rapper, Adidas (which manufactured the Yeezy line,) cut ties with Ye in October following his offensive and antisemitic remarks. The split is expected to take a $246,000,000.00 hit in net income this year alone.

Rolling Stone has reported that it spoke to more than 24 former Yeezy and Adidas employees and obtained a letter from several former Yeezy staffers to the sportswear company alleging that Kanye West created a toxic work environment by showing sexual photos and videos in meetings, making vulgar comments and bullying the people who worked for him. Each of the former employees spoke to the magazine on the condition of anonymity. The letter accused the company of knowing about the problematic behavior and failing to protect employees.

In a statement about the allegations, Claudia Lange, head of media relations for Adidas, said “It is currently not clear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true. However, we take these allegations very seriously and have taken the decision to launch an independent investigation of the matter immediately to address the allegations,”

Adidas also addressed Ye’s previous remarks that led the company to sever its relationship with him, saying Friday (11.25) that it “does not tolerate hate speech and offensive behavior and therefore has terminated the adidas Yeezy partnership.” “We have been and continue to be actively engaged in conversations with our employees about the events that lead (sic) to our decision to end the partnership.” “They have our full support and as we’re working through the details of the termination.”

Lange added that the company was not sharing any more details about the investigation at this time and Ye’s last known music and personal representatives did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Adidas, which named a new CEO this month in a sped-up timeline for a power transfer, said it owns the rights to product designs except for the Yeezy name and is developing plans for what to do with existing inventory.

Ye was suspended from Twitter and Instagram over his remarks but has been back tweeting this month.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Jason Persse