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Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, has written to Apple’s Tim Cook and Spotify saying it is “unacceptable” that neither service has removed Kanye West’s music.
Kanye West broke records for Apple Music with his series of “Donda” album live streams, only to later claim he turned down a $100 million sponsorship from Apple. Following the singer’s antisemitic remarks on Twitter, Apple removed its curated Kanye West Essentials playlist.
However, it only removed the playlist. All of West’s music continues to be available to stream.
Now according to the New York Post, president Ronald Lauder of the World Jewish Congress says that Apple Music and Spotify should remove West’s music. He also said that by not removing the artist, the two services were “profiting off of Jewish hate.”
Lauder wrote to Tim Cook and to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on December 7, 2022, saying it is “unacceptable that neither Apple Music, nor Spotify have removed Mr. West’s music.”
“Kanye West’s antisemitic tirades go beyond trafficking in conspiracy theories,” wrote Lauder. “He is espousing Nazism in its purest, most hateful form, and is perhaps the singular embodiment of the alarming rise of Jew hatred in America.”
“As long as his hateful voice is carried on Apple and Spotify’s music streaming platforms,” he continued, “they are in league with those who wish harm to Jews the world over.”
The issue is more complex than the World Jewish Congress appears to think it is. It’s not clear what the contractual obligations that Apple and Spotify have to the artist.
West has his own label, and an association with Def Jam records appears to have ended in October 2022. West’s label has published dozens of albums with nine number one Billboard albums, including several by West.
West, now known as Ye, has tweeted that he plans to go “death con 3” on Jewish people, and has expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler on multiple occasions. He is also running for President of the United States, and said that was in part because Apple Pay wasn’t working for him after certain bank accounts were reportedly frozen.