Public instances of anti-Semitism around Los Angeles prompted UTA co-founder and CEO Jeremy Zimmer to issue a company-wide memo addressing the matter.
In a note sent to staff October. Yes, the artist formerly known as Kanye West.
“As a company we support a wide diversity of voices and ideas, but we cannot support hate speech, biodiversity or anti-Semitism,” Zimmer wrote. “Please support the Kanye West boycott. Powerful voices that incite hatred have often made people do hateful things.”
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As a result of Ye’s inflammatory comments in the media, anti-Semites took to the Los Angeles freeway overpass to show their support for the rapper. Also on Sunday, fliers were distributed throughout Brentwood identifying entertainment executives as “Jews.”
Ye was once a UTA client, albeit short-lived and returned to his previous agency, CAA, in 2016 after a one-year absence.
Read Zimmer’s note in full below:
I am sorry to write that there is a rise in anti-Semitism in our communities again, fueled by Kanye’s comments and as a result there was an incident in Los Angeles yesterday where hate banners were placed on the 405 freeway.
Unfortunately, anti-Semitism, racism and many forms of hatred and intolerance are part of the fabric of society. In general, they live like a plague that erodes the health of communities and is fought with the understanding, tolerance and general kindness of most people.
But throughout history some have used their public platform to loudly slander the plague and dangerously spread corruption. Kanye is the latest person to do that, and we’re seeing his words emboldening others to increase their fervent faith. I also saw copies of horrific anti-Semitic pamphlets left this weekend on doorsteps in Los Angeles neighborhoods, proving that the 405 banners are not the end.
Also worrying is what is happening on college campuses, where concern and debate about Zionism turns into anti-Semitism. Wellesley College has recently been at the center of this dilemma. A Wellesley newspaper recently supported a mapping project that shows nearby Jewish-owned businesses and recommends boycotting them. This is the kind of dangerous thinking that can lead to anti-Semitism and hatred, and there are examples of that can be seen in other schools.
Whether on billboards on the 405 in Los Angeles, or leaflets on doorsteps, a map of Jewish affairs in Boston, or marching with hoods and crosses, all of these behaviors ignite fanaticism, and should not be tolerated .
. As a company we promote a wide diversity of voices and ideas, but we cannot support hate speech, biophobia or anti-Semitism. Support the Kanye West boycott. People are often doing hateful things because of powerful hateful voices. Let’s not pretend that this time is different.