Kanye West has apologised to the Jewish community for antisemitic comments he made previously, in a statement written in Hebrew.
On his Instagram account on 26 December, the American rapper and entrepreneur also known as Ye said: “I sincerely apologise to the Jewish community for any unintended outburst caused by my words or actions. It was not my intention to hurt or disrespect, and I deeply regret any pain I may have caused.
"I am committed to starting with myself and learning from this experience to ensure greater sensitivity and understanding in the future. Your forgiveness is important to me, and I am committed to making amends and promoting unity.”
Back in October 2022, West was widely condemned, and his X/ Twitter and Instagram accounts suspended, after he shared antisemitic conspiracy theories on social media.
His series of antisemitic comments included a screenshot of a conversation with Sean “Diddy” Combs in which West accused rapper Diddy of being controlled by Jewish people. “Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me,” he said.
On X/ Twitter, he wrote: “When I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE. The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also. You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
Later that month, he made antisemitic remarks on the Drink Champs podcast. “You just get used to being screwed by the Jewish media,” he said. He also said, “Jewish people have owned the Black voice. Whether it’s through us wearing the Ralph Lauren shirt, or it’s all of us being signed to a record label, or having a Jewish manager, or being signed to a Jewish basketball team, or doing a movie on a Jewish platform like Disney.”
Following West's comments, footwear giant Adidas terminated its partnership with West with immediate effect, ending production of the star’s Yeezy-branded products and stopping all payments to him and his companies. It meant a net loss of £193m for adidas.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous.”
The brand’s chief executive Bjørn Gulden later said on a podcast: “I don’t think he meant what he said and I don’t think he’s a bad person – it just came across that way.”
Gap removed Yeezy products from its stores, while Balenciaga and Vogue also ended their working relationships.
There were further antisemitic rants in December 2022, when West praised Hitler in an interview with the American far-right talk show host Alex Jones.
West’s apology to the Jewish community comes shortly before the release of his new Vultures album on 12 January, a collaboration with vocalist Ty Dolla Sign.
The album’s release date has been postponed three times - from 13 October, to 3 November, to 15 December. West’s label GOOD Music is no longer affiliated with Def Jam Recordings, part of Universal Records, since his deal with the label expired; he had been with the label from the released of his debut single in 2004 until his last studio album DONDA in 2021.
The title track which he released last month addresses his previous remarks with the lyric “How I’m antisemitic? I just f***ed a Jewish b****.”
Although the star has denied antisemitism on his new album, earlier this month he wore a Ku Klux Klan-style hood at a listening party for Vultures.
In addition, the cover art for the album features a 1835 painting by Caspar David Friedrich, an artist beloved by Hitler, while its font recalls that used by neo-Nazi Varg Vikernes’ black-metal act Burzum.