Kanye West’s label UMG denounces antisemitism in statement

It's not clear whether the rapper is still signed to the label, having completed his most recent deal with the release of 2021's 'DONDA'

Kanye West‘s most recent record label, Universal Music Group, has shared a statement denouncing antisemitism.

West has made a slew of antisemitic comments over the past weeks. A post directed at the Jewish community led to West being suspended from Instagram and later Twitter, where he wrote that he “[would be] going death con 3 [sic] On JEWISH PEOPLE”.

While not referencing West directly, UMG have now shared a statement in which they promoted an ongoing partnership with the American Jewish Committee.

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“There is no place for antisemitism in our society,” the statement read. “We are deeply committed to combating antisemitism and every other form of prejudice.”

The label is the parent company of Def Jam, who released West’s 2021 album ‘DONDA’. A source told Rolling Stone this week that that album was the last under West’s previous contract with UMG, and that they aren’t aware of the deal being renewed.

“My understanding is that he’s fulfilled his current contractual obligations and [West and the label] are not currently under contract,” the source said.

Elsewhere, during a recent Drink Champs interview, West made false claims about the murder of George Floyd. Footage shortly after Floyd’s death in 2020 showed him being restrained on a sidewalk by officer Derek Chauvin, who placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes despite Floyd’s continued pleas that he couldn’t breathe. A lack of oxygen caused brain damage, heart failure and eventually death.

In April 2021 Chauvin was found guilty of Floyd’s murder, and he was sentenced to 21 years in prison. During the Drink Champs appearance, West claimed Floyd died from “fentanyl” and said that Chauvin’s knee “wasn’t even on [Floyd’s] neck like that”. It has been confirmed that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen, and not the trace amount of fentanyl found in his system.

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It was then announced that the family of Floyd are preparing a defamation lawsuit against West. In a press release shared yesterday (October 18), it was announced that Roxie Washington – the mother of Floyd’s daughter Gianna, who is also the sole beneficiary of his estate – had retained The Witherspoon Law Group and Dixon & Dixon Attorneys at Law firms to file a suit against West and associates. The statement went on to accuse West of “knowingly [making] blatantly false statements about George Floyd’s death to promote his brands, and increase marketing value and revenue for himself, his business partners, and associates.”

“The interests of the child are priority,” attorney Nuru Witherspoon of Witherspoon Law Group said in a statement. “George Floyd’s daughter is being retraumatised by Kanye West’s comments and he’s creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her.”

Attorney Pat D. Dixon III of Dixon & Dixon added: “Kanye’s comments are a repugnant attempt to discount George Floyd’s life and to profit from his inhumane death. We will hold Mr. West accountable for his flagrant remarks against Mr. Floyd’s legacy.”

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