What did Bjorn Gulden say about Kanye? Adidas CEO sparks controversy with defense of rapper's antisemitism scandal
German apparel company Adidas' CEO Bjorn Gulden sparked controversy online after he praised Kanye West, months after parting ways with the star for his antisemitic remarks. In a podcast interview with Nicholai Tangen for In Good Company, the 58-year-old personality complimented the 46-year-old rapper calling him “one of the most creative people in the world.”
According to Gulden, the fact that Kanye made the remarks "wasn't that good" and led to Adidas breaking the contract and withdrawing the items, which is a reference to the end of the Yeezy line. Bjork, who is Norwegian, said:
“Very unfortunate, because I don’t think he meant what he said, and I don’t think he’s a bad person. It just came across that way. That meant we lost that business, one of the most successful collabs in the history … very sad.”
After West made a series of antisemitic statements that were met with widespread condemnation, the German shoe giant announced in October that it would be terminating its very profitable deal with the rapper and withdrawing Yeezy items from its stores. In a since-deleted tweet, Kanye West wrote:
“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE."
In response to the massive criticism from the general public, Adidas made the announcement that it had severed its association with West, ceased the production of items bearing the Yeezy brand, and terminated all payments to the rapper and his enterprises.
X users react to Bjorn Gulden's remarks on Kanye West's exit from Adidas
After the remarks made by the CEO of Adidas on Kanye West's exit from the company following his social media spree of anti-Semitic comments went viral, X users were divided. Several users slammed the company for coming to his defense now, months after he was thrashed online, and added that this was a hint that they were suffering financially without the rapper.
Others questioned Gulden about defending West, stating why would he make such remarks in the first place.
Prior to those remarks, Adidas placed the "partnership under review" when Kanye West was seen wearing a "White Lives Matter" T-shirt during Paris Fashion Week. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the term is a "hate slogan" used by White supremacist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan.
Following the cancellation of the Yeezy shoe line, Adidas suffered a severe financial setback. The business said that it didn't think it would make $1.3 billion in 2023 since it couldn't sell the designer's Yeezy clothes and accessories.