Fashion Style

The Internet vs. Kanye: Fans, Brands and Stars React to the Controversy

The entire planet has, at the very least, caught whiff of Kanye West’s downwards spiral as tensions arose between the Yeezy CEO and his multiple business deals following a slew of problematic and contentious statements. West’s “White Lives Matter” t-shirt that emerged during Paris Fashion Week was only the tip of the iceberg that led to his self-destructive media parade, expressing what people have described as white supremacist and anti-Semitic claims. It wasn’t long before the music mogul was subsequently dropped by his management, replaced on P. Diddy‘s billionaires club list and ousted from partnerships with Balenciaga and Adidas.

We’ll be the first to admit, this entire debacle and series of outbursts have been hard to watch! Kanye risked it all, and although the majority agreed with Adidas and Balenciaga’s decisions to give him the boot, others thought the brands reacted only as a result of public outrage.

On Twitter, @fliionthewall posted their thoughts saying “This @adidas Yeezy news is so gross. ‘We don’t approve of @kanyewest, but we’ll gladly profit off of him.’ Cut ties or don’t, but this performative conscience is nasty.”

The internet has entered the chat to discuss their shock, disappointment and to put into question the corporate social responsibility of brands and celebrities associated to Ye. Fans were particularly uneasy about Khloe Kardashian wearing a pair of Yeezy 350s the day after Adidas publicly ended their ventures with Yeezy, especially seeing as she was the first KarJenner sister to take a stance in a post to her instagram story that read “I support my Jewish friends and the Jewish people.”

One Twitter user with the handle @CeejayMack_20 wrote “Khloe Kardashian was wearing yeezy’s today. Is she trolling now? #ye #KanyeWest #YEEZYBOOST

During his latest Saturday Night Live monologue, Dave Chapelle spoke on Adidas and joked about the unsettling remarks made by the rapper, opening the topic by saying “I denounce antisemitism in all its forms and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community – and that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.”

Viewers took to Dave’s lighthearted humor surrounding the ever-evolving situation. Instagram user @kingthelady commented “Comedic Genius. He told not one lie in the funniest way.”

Another user, @thebrotherpill, sounded off with “Has anyone heard a SPECIFIC antisemitic statement?? I keep hearing them accuse black men of it but not ONE of them has pointed to the specific antisemitic statement...”

While this may be a polarizing conversation, it’s a necessary one for us as a society to have. Between fan speculations, mixed messaging from celebrities and the pressure for brands to pick a side, one side of the story remained overlooked until recently. Israeli pop star Noa Kirel went certified viral for her MTV European Music Awards outfit: a custom design by Yuvalal Roey with Kanye’s face plastered all over a pair of black leather pants and leather gloves, embellished with gold chains and symbolic charms associated to Jewish heritage.

Photo: IG/Reproduction

Noa explained the inspiration behind the look stating “I had this idea that came to my head: after all the anti-Semitic things that Kanye said about Jewish people — and I’m Jewish — I knew I had to have something that will be powerful on the red carpet […] I really wanted it to be a message and not just a regular outfit. And it takes some nerves, but I think the message was received.”

Spectators were quick to applaud her strong message, but back on Twitter, not all were certain to understand what that exact messaging was. Debating the outfit as a protest to Kanye’s comments, @colorgrlshuffle argued “Was that it? Maybe I’m having an SNL moment because I’m getting the exact opposite message from clothing choice.”

More added to the thread, such as @Brxannamxchelle who tweeted “Well she didn’t accomplish what she set out to lol”

What do you think of Adidas and Balenciaga’s choice to part ways from Kanye West? How do you feel about Khloe’s Yeezy sneakers, Dave Chapelle’s monologue and Noa Kirel’s outfit choice? We want to hear your thoughts!

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