Talent agency CAA drops Ye, as film studio MRC ditches documentary because of his antisemitic remarks

Kanye West attends the Givenchy Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 02, 2022 in Paris, France.
Stephane Cardinale – Corbis | Corbis Entertainment | Getty Images

Major Hollywood talent agency CAA on Monday dropped Ye, also known as Kanye West, as the rapper and business mogul faces intensifying criticism over his recent antisemitic remarks.

“I can confirm that Kanye is not a client,” a CAA representative told CNBC.

The film studio MRC also said it was dropping a documentary about the artist. MRC was behind films such as “Knives Out” and television series such as “Ozark.”

CNBC has reached out to Ye’s legal team for comment.

The moves come as athletic apparel maker Adidas faces growing calls to end its relationship with Ye.

At least three legal organizations have written letters to the German company to cut ties with Ye due to his recent antisemitic comments. Adidas remains one of the few remaining partnerships after he was let go by luxury goods brand Balenciaga last week. His relationship with JPMorgan Chase also ended. Ye himself had previously ditched his relationship with Gap.

“We call on you to end your silence, condemn Kanye’s obscene antisemitism and terminate your partnership with him,” said the latest letter from the International Legal Forum, an organization representing more than 4,000 attorneys and activists.

Ye has taunted Adidas, in turn. “I can literally say antisemitic s— [to Adidas] and they can’t stop me,” West said in a video posted on Thursday.

Liora Rez, executive director of Stopantisemitism.org, wrote in response: “so I ask you, the Adidas Exec. Board, can Ye literally say anything, or will you denounce antisemitism & stop profiting off bigotry towards Jews?”

This follows a letter last week from the Anti-Defamation League urging Adidas to sever ties with the artist. The ADL compiled a list of what it deemed harmful recent comments by Ye.

CNBC has reached out to Adidas several times. Each time, the company pointed us to their Oct. 6 statement saying the relationship is “under review.”

It might be a matter of time before Adidas makes a move, however.

“We may be at the point where Adidas can’t tolerate it anymore,” said Morningstar analyst David Swartz, noting: “Adidas did overlook a lot of nonsense over the years for the sake keeping Kanye happy and keeping the relationship going.”

His relationship with Adidas goes back to 2013 and has been financially successful and high-profile, earning the company about $2 billion annually, according to Swartz.

For years, companies have tolerated Ye’s outbursts due to the fact that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but in recent weeks his behavior has become more incendiary.

Twitter and Instagram blocked him for his antisemitic remarks. In response, he agreed to purchase the right-leaning social media network Parler.

–CNBC’s Jim Forkin contributed to this report.

Sophie Tremblay

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