Kanye West received $250 million lawsuit from George Floyd’s family


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Makiya Jones, Contributor

Throughout a series of insensitive remarks made within the past month, Ye, formally known as Kanye West, received a $250 million lawsuit from Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd’s daughter after publicly undermining the severity of Floyd’s death including harassment, defamation and emotional distress.

For nearly two decades, Ye has made headlines not just for his music but for a number of controversial remarks dating back to 2005 when he stated President Bush, “doesn’t care about black people” due to the way he handled Hurricane Katrina. In the last month, West expressed strong statements about George Floyd’s death, labeling it as an overdose of fentanyl despite video footage of Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee pressed into Floyd’s neck for around nine minutes.

Witherspoon Law Group, one law firm representing the case, has deemed his interview with Drunk Champs interviewer, N.O.R.E., to be traumatizing upon Floyd’s daughter. N.O.R.E claimed to have let the comment slide because he had spoke up, Ye would have “walk[ed] out,” due to a similar event happening in the past. Despite the interview’s removal from YouTube and Revolt TV, the clip still circulates with Ye’s statement spreading across social media.

A supporter of his accusations is a conservative commentator Candace Owens, who said on her podcast that she wanted to sue George Floyd’s family in response to their lawsuit against West. She proceeded to make a mockery of their lawsuit saying, “…if you can sue somebody because you’re feeling ‘emotionally distressed’…well then I think that I have grounds to sue George Floyd’s estate,” declaring the lawsuit as a “PR stunt.”

In addition to her support of Ye, Owens also made an appearance at Paris Fashion Week alongside the rapper as they both wore “White Lives Matter” t-shirts. Following further controversy, a box filled with the same shirts was delivered to homeless people on Skid Row, and although the rapper wasn’t physically there, he has issued responsibility for a recording.

“When it comes to Kanye, he needs help–like psychological help. He’s been getting around this for years,” said University freshman Grace Lopez. “If you know your people are suffering, then you should be able to relate to them and join them and help them with the movement instead of making it seem like you’re not involved.”

With Skid Row being associated with poverty and homelessness, those nearby don’t wish for this act to further affect their image, yet the community has received notice as people stop by the area to buy the shirts.

West has made an impact in fashion since dropping his line Yeezy back in 2009 with Adidas, to walking for Balenciaga during Paris Fashion Week as the fashion house’s opener. After spewing a string of anti-Semitic comments, Balenciaga was the first company to end its partnership with Kanye West along with any current projects and those in the future on Oct. 21. In September, West ended his collaboration with GAP, accusing the clothing brand of breaching its contract with him.

Adidas became the latest brand to end its almost decade-long partnership with the rapper on Oct. 25. With many urges from the public as well as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Ye responded, “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?” After an evaluation, the company released a statement that “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech” and that they will “terminate the[ir] partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies.” Because of this, West is no longer a billionaire as his net worth dropped drastically, Forbes reports.

In addition to the termination of brand deals, Creative Arts Agency, the talent agency signed with West, has “cut ties” along with “Hollywood production company and financiers MRC” who have refused to publish a documentary of Kanye West. Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, stated that she has no intention of working with Ye in the future.

On Instagram, West released text messages between himself and Sean Combs, also known as P. Diddy, referring to the Jewish community who he claimed have convinced Combs to go against Ye’s “White Lives Matter”  t-shirt sale. On Oct. 8 the rapper continued to express anti-Semitic views and threatened to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” The ADL called the rapper out as his reasoning falls in relation to the stereotype of greed and power once associated with the community and the entertainment industry.

Consequently, the two social media platforms banned West, who then announced his decision to buy Parler, a right-wing conservative alternative to Twitter. The site, which refers to itself as an “uncancellable ecosystem,” was developed during Donald Trump’s presidency because his followers argued that Twitter didn’t allow them to express their conservative opinions.

University freshman Jakai Newman compared the actions of West to former President Donald Trump regarding the effects their comments have upon those they influence with their platforms. “Kanye’s actions right now are becoming what America’s always wanted, and that’s the show of a spectacle,” Newman said. “Of course, there’s only so much you can do to help a person-but everyone’s just taking what he’s doing and either enjoying it, reveling in it or are just ashamed.”

Advancing his showcase of conservative opinions, Ye made an appearance on Fox News and was interviewed by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson. A majority of the footage was omitted due to the amount of anti-Semitic and conspiracy theory claims Ye made. In an interview on Pier Morgan Uncensored, the rapper apologizes for some of his insults against the Jewish community, but then backtracked by saying he doesn’t regret it: “I’m sorry for the families of the people that had nothing to do with the trauma that I have been through.” West proceeded with his slander campaign as he exhibits advocacy for “straight white males” as well as bashing President Joe Biden and went as far as to call him a slur while excusing himself for saying the word because he has “mental health issues.”

The history of Kanye West’s mental health dates back to 2016 when he was checked into a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As this knowledge became publicized, attention was brought not to bring awareness and provide help but rather a way to excuse his behavior and group his manic periods as a part of his act. Despite coming forth and announcing the cessation of taking his medication across the duration of their marriage, ex-wife Kim Kardashian played into his ignorant statements as she used his mental illness to condone his behavior.