On Thursday, it was revealed that the manufacturing brand behind Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West’s cult famous footwear brand Yeezy, had laid off over 50 percent of its staff.
Per Complex, the Georgia-based brand Okabashi Brand made the decision in response to Adidas parting ways with the popular brand that was created West. Because they pulled the plug and stopped all production of the shoe, Okabashi no longer has enough work and subsequently had to let go of 142 employees. The workers are expected to receive their severance and extended healthcare coverage, with the company reportedly joining forces with “local agencies and manufacturers to provide other employment options.” The company initially signed on with Yeezy and Adidas back in April of 2020 to help create the famous foam runner shoe.
“Last week Adidas announced they terminated their partnership with Ye and stopped the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect,” Okabashi said in a statement. “Adidas clearly does not tolerate hate speech and Okabashi also stands for these values.”
As previously reported by The Root, last week Adidas severed its ties with the Donda rapper in light of his anti-Semitic comments. The move resulted in Ye getting booted off the top of hip-hop’s billionaire list and seemingly was the beginning of a domino effect as other major brands decided to follow suit in the days after. Those brands include Gap, Def Jam Recordings, Footlocker, Skechers, Balenciaga, Apple Music, Peloton, CAA, Vogue, TJ Maxx, MRC and Madame Tussauds. West was also kicked off Twitter and Instagram for awhile but was recently reinstated on the former this week.
It just goes to show you that no matter how much you think your words and actions may only affect you, they’ll always end up reaching other people whether positively or negatively. And now, 142 people will have to figure out how to make ends meet just as the holiday season gets underway. West’s fans may hate it for him, but I hate it for these people who didn’t ask to have their livelihoods thrown up in the air over someone else’s foolishness.