Monday, June 17, 2024

Kanye West Must Be Dropped by Universal Music Immediately: Taylor, Elton, Gaga, Beatles Must Speak Out


This weekend, hatemongers draped a sheet on an overpass on the 405 Freeway: “Kanye is right,” it read, “about the Jews.”

Fliers appeared in mailboxes and strewn on lawns in Jewish neighborhoods, all anti-Semitic.

All of this has been enabled by Kanye West. The Gap dropped him, so did Balenciaga. Adidas is under pressure to do the same, and they’d better do it quickly. Public sentiment on social media is rising against them.

But the most impact will come if Universal Music Group cuts ties with Kanye West immediately. His records or streams are distributed by UMG’s Def Jam label. In the last week, West’s total sales have dropped to almost zero. The public on to him. But now UMG and Def Jam have to make this move — not a suspension, a cancellation of all their business with Kanye West.

UMG recording artists must take a stand against West continuing with the company. That includes the Beatles — really Paul McCartney — as well as Elton John, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and so on. Just looking the other way will nor work: that’s what happened in Germany in the 1930s. These artists must speak out. They have to take a clear stand that the promotion of anti-Semitism will not be tolerated, or rewarded.

Already nearly 75,000 people have signed a petition on change,org for Adidas to drop West as a business partner. The same kind of petition for Universal Music should be in place soon. Granted, West’s last few albums haven’t sold very well. But what happens when he hands Universal a new album espousing these criminal ideas? Will they just issue it? Or will they take a stand now, so it can’t happen?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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