Even Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Doesn’t Want to Work With Kanye West
Kanye West’s latest burnt bridge is his connection to the talent agency CAA. The rapper is no longer represented by the prominent Hollywood agency, Rolling Stone can confirm. CAA severed ties with him this month in response to ongoing erratic behaviors that have been defined by continuous, and dangerous, antisemitic comments.
West has nowhere left to go now that CAA has tapped out. The company rounds out a trifecta of major agencies in Hollywood, alongside WME and UTA, who have both already issued statements calling for a complete boycott of the rapper on a professional level.
On Sunday, UTA chief Jeremy Zimmer issued a company-wide staff memo saying that West’s remarks “embolden others to amplify their vile beliefs.” The statement, which was titled “Rise of Anti Semitism and Hate,” added: “We can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-Semitism. Please support the boycott of Kanye West.”
On top of being dropped by CAA, the entertainment company MRC has pulled the plug on a documentary about West. “This morning, after discussion with our filmmakers and distribution partners, we made the decision not to proceed with any distribution for our recently completed documentary about Kanye West,” MRC’s co-leaders Modi Wiczyk, Asif Satchu and Scott Tenley shared in a statement. “We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform.” (Rolling Stone’s parent company, Penske Media Corporation, entered into a joint venture with MRC in 2020.)
West’s attorney Camille Vasquez has also decided to quit working with West, after agreeing to represent him late last week. Sources told TMZ that the attorney who helped Johnny Depp in his defamation trial against Amber Heard will no longer be providing counsel to West after the rapper refused to pull back his antisemitic statements.
Figures throughout film and television, fashion, and music have spoken out about West’s actions in the past few weeks. Universal Music Group, the parent company of West’s former label Def Jam, issued a statement denouncing his actions, and Balenciaga recently severed ties with him. On an individual level, the likes of Jack Antonoff, Josh Gad, John Legend, Diddy, Kim Kardashian, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more have spoken up about the dangers of continuing to platform someone with such dangerous ideas.
This all comes as West’s words come to have tangible influence in the real world. On Saturday afternoon, at least seven people did the Nazi salute as cars passed underneath an overpass in Las Angeles where an anti-semitic group hung a sign that read: “Kanye is right about the Jews.”
The turning point in West’s rapid downward spiral arrived when the rapper had his Instagram and Twitter accounts restricted after sharing anti-Semitic comments on both platforms. From there, he ventured to other platforms, giving a string of increasingly erratic and offensive interviews.
West appeared on the podcast Drink Champs in a since-deleted episode, where the hosts did not push back on his comments. He also made stops on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, where some of his rhetoric was platformed, while many of his antisemitic comments were edited out. And he also appeared on News Nation’s CUOMO, where host Chris Cuomo actually made an effort to push back.
West’s recent tirades about Jewish people have overlapped with his claim – backed by conservative pundit Candace Owens – that Black Lives Matter was a “scam.” West has also promoted the false claim that George Floyd wasn’t murdered, but died from fentanyl. He also designed a bunch of “White Lives Matter” shirts, which were distributed last week with the help of accused rapist Ian Connor.
This story was updated at 3:25 pm to include TMZ reporting that West is no longer receiving legal counsel from Camille Vasquez.