In a podcast interview, Adidas chief executive, Bjørn Gulden, has stated that Kanye West “didn’t mean what he said” with the anti-Semitic statements he made on social media.
Speaking on the Norwegian podcast, In Good Company, Gulden also came to the beleaguered rapper’s defence stating he isn’t “a bad person”. West, who now refers to himself as Ye, made the comments on Twitter (now X) in October 2022. Adidas made the decision to end its partnership with Ye stating that his comments were “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness”.
Gulden said in the podast: “I think Kanye West is one of the most creative people in the world,” he said. “Both in music and what I call street culture. So he’s extremely creative and has together with Adidas created a Yeezy line that was very successful. And then, as creative people, he did some statements, which wasn’t that good. And that caused Adidas to break the contract and withdraw the product. Very unfortunate, because 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.
“That meant we lost that business. One of the most successful collabs in history – very sad. But again, when you work with third parties, that could happen. It’s part of the game. That can happen with an athlete, it can happen with an entertainer. It’s part of the business.