A bombshell report by Rolling Stone alleges that Ye, better known as Kanye West, terrorized staff at Adidas and other companies — particularly women — by showing them porn without consent and using “mind games” to control and bully them.
The article starts with West making a sexually explicit comment to an unnamed “senior female employee” after he was unsatisfied with the prototypes of those bizarre shoes that came out under his name.
“I want you to make me a shoe I can f—,” he reportedly told her.
That woman, who requested her name not be used (and we all know why), took a leave of absence before switching departments after nobody stood up to West for this highly inappropriate remark, made after creepily looking her up and down.
The rest of the incidents outlined in the report are making people wonder why it took multiple antisemitic statements from West, including a violent threat against all Jewish people, to make the athletic apparel company end their contract with the rapper. Former “Yeezy” team members had to break the story by publishing an open letter taking Adidas leadership to task for ignoring West’s toxic behavior for years.
This behavior includes showing pornographic videos to his staff, including his own sex tapes and explicit footage and photos of now ex-wife Kim Kardashian. It’s unclear if Kim’s consent was given to show this content, but we can make a guess.
Additionally, West would direct explosive anger very often at female staff that included sexualized comments.
“He has, in years past, exploded at women in the room with offensive remarks, and would resort to sexually disturbing references when providing design feedback,” the letter reads. “This type of response from a brand partner is one that Adidas employees should never be subjected to, nor should Adidas leadership ever tolerate.”
These accounts are supported by that brief YouTube “documentary” West himself released following the decision by Adidas to cut ties with him which shows the rapper presenting a pornographic video to two executives on his phone. One “former collaborator” says they later realized that this behavior was designed to test how much people would put up with from him and break down boundaries.
“Now, seeing it within a larger pattern, I feel it was a tactic to break a person down and establish their unwavering allegiance to him, testing and destroying people’s boundaries,” they said.
Other bullying behavior included forcing a “young female designer of color” to sit on the floor for hours during a meeting because she disagreed with him, screaming at people, and demanding a level of control that had multiple staff members feeling like they were in a cult. Others allege verbal abuse in the form of personal insults, unreasonable demands of unqualified staff, and books thrown in a fit of rage.
But most of the behavior outlined in the report involves West constantly playing porn on company screens or showing it to people without warning, or even encouraging people to watch porn in order to focus or generate ideas.
Through all of this, Adidas leadership has been accused of not only turning a blind eye to this behavior, but telling people to expect it as though it was no big deal or just a weird yet neutral quirk of West’s. Sexual harassment laws beg to differ, of course.
One Adidas vice president is accused of warning a former senior staff member about this rather than doing anything to put a stop to it.
“The employee remembers one Adidas vice president saying, ‘Hey, just so you know, there’s gonna be this whole porn-reference thing,’ and a second executive saying, ‘It’s gonna catch you off guard the first time. I think he does it to catch people off guard.'”
Anybody who had a problem with it was quietly moved out of the department.
Adidas provided various statements saying they can’t comment or they don’t tolerate hate speech and other unsatisfactory excuses.