Kanye West accused of racism and anti-Semitism by ex-employee




Apr 3, 2024

Controversial rapper Kanye West repeatedly yelled at black employees and praised Adolf Hitler as an “innovator”, according to a new lawsuit filed in California on Tuesday.

Kanye West in New York on September 7 2018. – RANDY BROOKE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/ARCHIVES

The artist, who is also known for his fashion label Yeezy, has become a show-business pariah since making anti-Semitic remarks in 2022 and expressing sympathy for the Nazi dictator.

This complaint, in which an ex-employee claims that the singer told schoolchildren that he was being persecuted by the Jewish people, further tarnishes the image of the artist, who says he suffers from bipolar disorder.

The complaint was filed by Trevor Phillips, an African-American who worked for Yeezy and the Donda Academy, a school founded by the controversial rapper, for almost a year.

Hired at the end of 2022, the former employee claims to have “never seen Mr. West yell and berate a white person”, according to the complaint. “But on countless occasions, he personally witnessed and/or endured Kanye’s frenzied yelling at black people.”

According to Phillips, the rapper repeatedly launched into anti-Semitic tirades in front of his staff, claiming that “the Jews want to take (him) down” or that “the Jews are stealing all (his) money”.

Many brands, including Adidas, Gap and Balenciaga, have cut ties with Kanye West because of previous anti-Semitic statements.

According to the complaint, the artist, also known as Ye, praised Hitler at a dinner in a posh Los Angeles restaurant.

“Hitler was fabulous,” the rapper opined, according to the complaint.

“Hitler was an innovator. He invented so many things. It’s thanks to him that we have cars,” he added, stating a historical untruth.

German engineers Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler were among those responsible for the development of the automobile. The Nazi dictator merely supported Ferdinand Porsche, who designed and mass-produced Volkswagen’s famous Beetle.

In his complaint, Mr Phillips also claims that during a conversation with two children at Donda Academy, the rapper told them to shave their heads and threatened to lock them in cages.

“Kanye also told the employees (…) that none of them should be fat or he would fire them,” the complaint adds.

Donda Academy is already at the centre of several claims by former teachers who were dismissed after expressing concerns about the safety and toxic environment it provides for its students.

Mr Phillips is seeking 35,000 dollars in damages, and hopes to send out a message with his complaint.

“We hope that (…) Mr West will understand that his messages, which we believe preach discrimination, anti-Semitism and love of Hitler, have no place in the world,” insisted his lawyer, Carney Shegerian.

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