- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
“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,” CEOs Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, as well as COO Scott Tenley, wrote in an open letter on Monday. “We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform.”
MRC was in talks with distributors before this latest decision. When asked if the film was sent to any film festivals, an MRC representative responded that “all activities are being pulled.”
In their open letter, the leaders wrote that West has helped “mainstream” antisemitism in the current climate. “The silence from leaders and corporations when it comes to Kanye or antisemitism, in general, is dismaying but not surprising. What is new and sad, is the fear Jews have about speaking out in their own defense,” Wiczyk, Satchu and Tenley wrote.
The MRC executives wrote that “two important lies” have powered current antisemitic rhetoric: “the lie that Jews are evil and conspire to control the world for their own gain” and the “pernicious, terrible use of false logic” that “If you support Israel’s right to exist, you are a racist. If you are a Jew, you support Israel’s right to exist. Therefore, if you are Jewish, you are a racist.”
The authors concluded, “If you hear or encounter the perpetuation of these intolerances and falsehoods, please let us know. It is totally unacceptable. And to those who are afraid to use their voice, hopefully this encourages you to do so.”
In early October, West made numerous comments about Jewish people on multiple platforms, including a since-deleted tweet on Oct. 8. That same day, Meta confirmed a restriction had been placed on West’s Instagram account and content had been removed following a post, now removed, which users criticized as being antisemitic. West also made controversial comments on Tucker Carlson Tonight (Vice later reported on purportedly leaked, unaired portions that included more antisemitic comments), the podcast Drink Champs and NewsNation’s Cuomo.
MRC’s move follows industry rebukes of West from talent agency heads Ari Emanuel (Endeavor), Jeremy Zimmer (UTA) and Bob Gersh (The Gersh Agency). In a Financial Times opinion piece published Oct. 19, Emanuel called for the business community to “speak out and take action” following West’s antisemitic remarks, and specifically called out Apple, Spotify and Adidas in his column; he also called for the social media platform Parler to cease its forthcoming sale to West.
On Monday, THR further reported that CAA had stopped representing the artist. Fashion brand Balenciaga severed ties with West on Friday, while, as of press time, Adidas is still working with the artist.
On Feb. 16, Netflix began premiering jeen-yuhs, a separate three-part documentary series on West that was directed by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah. Simmons and Ozah filmed with West for decades, and the film’s rights sold to the streamer for around $30 million. Though West eventually appeared to support the documentary, before its release, he called for “final edit and approval” on the project that the directors have said publicly was not granted.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
Super Mario Bros.
Samuel L. Jackson