‘The Jews are out to get me’: former Kanye West employee sues over antisemitic remarks

A lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims West created a ‘hostile work environment’ and harassed employees


Rapper Kanye West (C) faces a lawsuit for harassing and discriminating against a former employee. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

A former Kanye West employee is suing the rapper for discrimination and creating a hostile work environment by calling Adolf Hitler “great,” berating Black employees, spreading antisemitic hate and saying that “gay people are not true Christians.”

Trevor Philips, who worked for West’s private Christian school Donda Academy and designer shoe brand Yeezy, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday. Philips accused West, who legally changed his name to Ye, of making antisemitic comments in front of staff members at the school, including, “the Jews are out to get me” and “the Jews are stealing all my money,” according to the LA Times which obtained the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claimed that, following Adidas’ termination of its partnership with West, 46, over his antisemitic remarks, the rapper told Philips: “The Jews are working with Adidas to freeze up my money to try and make me broke.”

Describing comments Philips claimed West made in private, the lawsuit said that during a conversation in Malibu, California, West called Hitler “great,” adding: “Hitler was an innovator! He invented so many things. He’s the reason we have cars.” Philips also claimed that West said the Holocaust was “fake.”

Philips claimed that, during the same meeting, West made homophobic and antisemitic remarks, saying: “Yeah I am going for the gays! First the Jews, then the gays... Gay people are not true Christians. And Gay people are controlled by Bill Gates so that they don’t have children for population control.”

A representative of West could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit also alleged that West treated his Black employees, Philips included, “considerably worse than white employees.”

Philips said West fired and rehired him seemingly at random, and that after West confronted him about a garden project, West told him “I was going to punch you in the face” while screaming at Phillips in front of other staff members and pupils.

In a statement to Forbes, Philips’ attorney Carney Shegerian said the lawsuit was filed to show there is “no place in the world” for “discrimination, antisemitism and Hitler-love.”

Philips was reportedly hired in November 2022, around the time West first made a series of antisemitic comments on social media and in televised interviews, subsequently losing his major-label record deal.

Philips is not the first to file a lawsuit against Donda Academy. In July, a former assistant principal alleged that he was fired for raising concerns about the school’s infrastructure, which he claimed had no hot water, an overflowing septic tank and poor wiring. Last April, two former teachers sued the rapper for retaliation, wrongful termination and discrimination after allegedly being fired for voicing concerns over the unsafe and unsanitary conditions of the school. The complaint included an allegation that the school only served the students sushi for lunch, for which West reportedly paid upwards of $10,000 per week.

West opened the unaccredited Christian school in Simi Valley, California in 2022. He abruptly closed the school one month after it opened, then announced it would reopen hours later. The school has closed again, but reports emerged last month that West has “rebranded” the venture as Donda Ray Academy and will open it at a new location in San Fernando Valley.

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