Kanye West reportedly paid a settlement to a former employee who alleged he had used antisemitic language in the workplace.
According to documents obtained by NBC, six other people who have worked with the rapper, or seen him in professional settings over the past five years, also claimed they had heard him praise Hitler or talk about conspiracy theories related to Jewish people.
It is reported that three of those individuals are ex-employees or collaborators of Ye, who allege that the artist used antisemitic language on multiple occasions.
The three other people alleged they heard West going on an antisemitic tirade during an interview at TMZ’s headquarters in 2018.
That same interview made headlines last month after ex-TMZ staffer Van Lathan – who’s now the host of the Higher Learning podcast – alleged that Ye praised “Hitler and the Nazis” during the chat in question.
“I’ve already heard him say that [antisemitic] stuff before,” Lathan claimed recently (via The Independent).
“I mean, I was taken aback because that type of antisemitic talk is disgusting. But as far as him, I knew that that was in him because when came to TMZ, he said that stuff and they took it out of the interview.”
The accounts of the individuals who claimed to have witnessed the TMZ incident seem to suggest that West has used such language for years; some instances are said to have occurred long before his recent antisemitic comments online and in interviews.
Ryder Ripps – a Jewish conceptual artist who worked with the rapper between 2014 and 2018 – claimed to recall multiple times when West spoke positively about Hitler and the Nazis or mentioned anti-Jewish conspiracies during meetings in 2018.
Ripps said that he challenged Ye on his comments at the time, but believed they “didn’t seem that dangerous”. Since the recent controversy surrounding West, however, Ripps now thinks the rapper’s words are “dangerous and disgusting and actually violent”.
He continued: “With this pattern that’s happening and with the doubling and tripling down of all this, it’s pretty obvious that this is some kind of disgusting, hate-filled, strange Nazi obsession.”
NBC reports that Ye paid a former employee who claimed to have witnessed more than one pro-Hitler/Nazis incident in business meetings. Ye denied the claims made by the ex-employee in the agreement.
That person is said to have signed a nondisclosure agreement, and spoke on the condition of anonymity. West’s representatives did not respond to NBC‘s request for comment.
West has been dropped from several of his major partnerships – including fashion deals with Adidas and Balenciaga – in recent weeks in the wake of his widely-condemned antisemitic comments. He’s also faced a backlash for wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt as well as recent comments he made about George Floyd.
Last month, Ye had both his Twitter and Instagram accounts suspended after sharing antisemitic posts on the two platforms. He briefly returned to Instagram, but his profile was suspended once again this week due to an unspecified violation of the platform’s policies.