Kanye West — who has faced fallout in recent weeks in the wake of repeated antisemitic comments — has recently paid a settlement to a former employee who alleged that he used antisemitic language in the workplace. Over the past five years, six other former employees or collaborators said that they recalled multiple instances of West (now known as Ye) using antisemitic language in professional settings, including a 2018 incident in which West went on an antisemitic tirade in an interview at TMZ’s offices.
Recently, Adidas joined others in breaking off business deals with West (for his latest antisemitism comments online and in interviews.) However, the former employees’ accounts and the settlement, have suggested that West has used such language in the workplace, years before this scandal.
West paid a settlement to a former worker who claimed to have witnessed him praising Adolf Hitler and Nazis in business meetings on more than one occasion. West denied the claims by the employee in their settlement agreement.
A week prior to that, it was reported that a business executive who worked for West had accused him of creating a hostile work environment with pro-Hitler rhetoric and had also received a settlement. At least one such former employee hired a Los Angeles Employment Lawyer to pursue their religious harassment employment claims against West.
Three of the six former colleagues said they recalled West glorifying Hitler and discussing conspiracy theories about Jewish people multiple times as early as seven years ago
One colleague, conceptual artist Ryder Ripps, who worked with West between 2014 and 2018, recalled Ye praise Hitler and Nazis and mentioning anti-Jewish conspiracies during meetings. Ripps, who is Jewish, recalled multiple occasions when West would make comments about Nazis being good at propaganda and multiple instances when Ye claimed “Jews have the codes.” Ripps said he would push back at West’s comments but Ye did not respond.
Ripps believes that antisemitic people have become emboldened following Ye’s public statements about Jewish people. In recent weeks, public antisemitic statements have appeared all over—including a Los Angeles freeway and at a college football game.
Another former employee, who worked with West for three years, said West would randomly praise Hitler and Nazis in casual discussions saying things like, “I even love Hitler,” and then look around the room as to pause for reactions. The former employee said that in a 2018 project meeting, West said Hitler “had good qualities” and that “he wasn’t all bad.”
Another one of the six witnesses mentioned multiple instances when Ye would bring up anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, blaming Jewish people for certain events and comparing himself to Hitler.
Three former TMZ employees recalled West making statements about loving Nazis and Hitler in a TMZ interview. They mentioned a Jewish producer confronting Ye about his comments but Ye’s only response was that he smiled. They claimed they were instructed by TMZ head Harvey Levin not to post any of West’s antisemitic comments.
It was also reported that a business executive who worked for Ye had accused him of creating a hostile work environment with pro-Hitler rhetoric and had also received a settlement. The unidentified individual explained that Ye would glorify Hitler’s accumulation of power and praised “all the great things he and the Nazi Party achieved for the German people.”
West has since publicly made a string of antisemitic remarks over the last month including accusing Jewish people of a “Holocaust” against Black Americans. West wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt to the YZY show at Paris Fashion Week on Oct. 3 and soon after, posted about going “death [sic] con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” on his Instagram and Twitter accounts which were then restricted.
As a result, West has lost a fortune of business deals. West’s Adidas deal was subsequently terminated, reportedly costing him $2 billion, costing him his billionaire status as reported by Forbes. Talent agency CAA dropped him as a client and MRC film studio ditched a documentary about the artist. Balenciaga cut ties with him, Gap removed products from their former deal from stores. Ye’s music streams and airplay also took a toll, and his Donda Academy closed. He’s been defiant amid the business separations, saying, “We here, baby. We ain’t going nowhere.”
Religious harassment and discrimination are illegal in the workplace—both in California and under federal law. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits an employer, including any supervisor, from harassing an employee based on their religion or creating a hostile work environment because of their religion. Employees may also not be mistreated or discriminated against at work because of their religion.
If you have beenharassed , discriminated , or retaliated against based on a protected category such as religion, race, or national origin, give us a call at (310) 400-5891 for your free intake.