Where Was the Outrage When Kanye West Said Slavery Was a ‘Choice’? Twitter Users Ask

Kanye West (Credit: Shutterstock)

Kanye West has a history of making bigoted comments, yet it’s taken years for him to get canceled by major retailers and key players in the entertainment industry.

On Tuesday, Adidas ended its partnership with the rapper (now known as Ye), with the Germany-based company noting that dumping the rapper could potentially lead to $246 million in lost sales.

In a statement, the sportswear giant said: “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.”

Hours later, Gap followed by announcing in an Instagram Story that it was “taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product from our stores and we have shut down YeezyGap.com.”

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Ye has also been dropped by luxury fashion house Balenciaga. Foot Locker said it’s pulling Yeezy products from its shelves. And Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency ended its relationship with West after his repeated anti-Semitic outbursts, per the Los Angeles Times.

Earlier this month, Instagram and Twitter suspended his accounts following his anti-Semitic posts.

Yet some social media users, including social impact strategist  and former Adidas employee Jamira Burley, asked Tuesday: “Where was this outrage for Kanye when he said slavery was a choice?”

Related StoryKanye West Sparks Outrage by Claiming Slavery Was a ‘Choice’

West continued with business as usual back in 2018, after he said in an interview with TMZ: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice.”

There was no corporate backlash when the “Power” rapper threatened on Instagram earlier this year to “hurt” comedian D.L. Hughley for commenting on West’s divorce, or when the rappe wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt in an apparent attempt to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement and embrace white supremacists.

Social media commentator Van Lathan, who worked at TMZ during the rapper’s 2018 meltdown, said Tuesday, the hip-hop community is partly responsible for West going unchecked. As a point of reference, Lathan posted  a video of West’s Wyoming listening party for his 2018 album “Ye.”

“For anyone wondering why it took antisemitism for Kanye to be dropped by Adidas. This video is from June, 2018. One month after the Slavery was a choice comment. There are people in this video who told me personally how lost Kanye was. They were less mad when the invitation came,” Lathan tweeted.

Philadelphia magazine editor-at-large Ernest Owens also noted that West’s controversial comments went unchecked for years.

“FACT: Before Kanye West was ‘the face of Anti-Semitism,’ he was one of the hip-hop faces of misogynoir, anti-Blackness, Trumpism, and slavery-denial,” Owens tweeted. “And y’all still gave him contracts, documentaries, endorsements, clothing deals, and millions that became billions. Shame.”

Actress and LGBTQ activist Isis King added on Twitter: “It’s fascinating to me that ppl are just now canceling Kanye. I jumped ship after the Slavery was a Choice statement and never looked back. We should of been here long ago, but we live in a country that rewarded his chaotic behavior. Sorry to that man, & Trump should be next.”