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Former Employee Sues Kanye West for Racism and Antisemitism

Published April 04, 2024
2 months ago

Kanye West, the prominent rapper and fashion designer behind the Yeezy brand, is the subject of a new lawsuit filed by a former employee alleging severe racism and antisemitism. The plaintiff, Trevor Phillips, is pressing for $35,000 in damages following his experiences while working for West's ventures, according to legal documents filed in Los Angeles, California.

The accusations paint a distressing picture of West's conduct towards his staff, particularly those of African descent. Phillips, who himself is Black, asserts that West only ever berated Black employees, drawing a stark contrast in his behavior when interacting with white staff members. His tenure at Yeezy, beginning in November 2022, quickly exposed him to a work environment fraught with harassment and retaliation, eventually ending his employment in August 2023.

The legal filings detail several instances where West's rhetoric was not just offensive but also revisionist, as he allegedly praised Adolf Hitler, wrongly crediting the Nazi leader with innovations including the development of automobiles—a claim that is historically inaccurate.

Phillips' narrative continues, alleging that West brought his controversial views into the educational realm, telling children at the Donda Academy, a school founded by West, that Jewish people persecuted him and stole his money. Aside from his treatment of Black employees, the lawsuit also claims West had discriminatory policies regarding the physical appearance of his staff, including threats of firing overweight employees.

The suit also recounts an incident where West told two children to shave their heads and made intimidating remarks about locking them in cages. These allegations contribute to the larger troubling portrait of Kanye West's behavior as head of his business and educational endeavors.

The lawsuit hits on the heels of West's severance of professional relationships with major brands like GAP and Adidas, which had previously distanced themselves from the rapper following his antisemitic remarks. Notably, West offered a public apology for his past antisemitic outbursts on social media last year.

Represented by attorney Carney R. Shegerian, the plaintiff is not only seeking compensation but also aims to hold West accountable and to send a clear message that his alleged discrimination and endorsement of hateful figures are not acceptable. The case unfolds amid conflicting views on the rapper, who has been candid about his mental health struggles—a topic his ex-wife, celebrity entrepreneur Kim Kardashian, has approached with a plea for empathy as he navigates his personal issues.

As the lawsuit progresses, it places Kanye West under further scrutiny, with the outcome potentially impacting his personal and professional reputation.

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