MRC cancels Kanye West documentary after antisemitic remarks

MRC Entertainment has become the latest industry player to cut ties with Kanye West following the rapper’s recent anti-Semitic remarks.

On Monday, MRC decided to shelve a recently completed documentary about the “Donda” artist because the production company “cannot support content that bolsters its platform.” MRC’s statement came shortly after leading talent agency removed CAA West from its client roster.

“Kanye is a producer and sampler of music. Last week he sampled and remixed a classic tune known for over 3,000 years – the lie that Jews are evil and conspiring to control the world for their own gain,” MRC said in a letter to The Times.

“This song was performed acapella in the times of the Pharaohs, Babylon and Rome, became acoustic with The Spanish Inquisition and Russia’s Pale of Settlement, and Hitler recorded the song electrically. Kanye has now helped establish it in modern times,” the letter continued.

MRC and CAA are among several organizations that have distanced themselves from West after he repeatedly expressed anti-Semitic views in interviews and on social media. West has also come under fire this month for modeling and handing out T-shirts that read “White Lives Matter.”

In recent weeks, Twitter and Instagram have blocked West from posting on their platforms, while the unscripted TV series The Shop declined to air an episode starring the musician.

West’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her sister Khloé Kardashian have also expressed their support for the Jewish community following West’s anti-Semitic outbursts.

Other companies that have parted ways with the Grammy-winning fashion mogul include JP Morgan, The Gap and Balenciaga. After its documentary was scrapped, MRC called on more companies to take a stand against both the Flashing Lights hitmaker and anti-Semitism.

“Lying is an important part of any discrimination and this is no different. When done well, they create the illusion that the action is just, that the zealot is ‘slamming’ the victim,” the MRC letter continued.

“It is crucial for anti-Semites to explain why they are attacking a people who make up less than half a percent of the world’s population. Not a fair fight numerically. But if the Jews are ultra powerful because of secret evil conspiracies, well, the argument is, it has to be fair and right.”

Over the weekend, The Times reported that LA saw a surge in anti-Semitic activity as a result of West’s behavior, which was praised by members of a hate group that gave Nazi salutes around town.

“The silence from executives and companies when it comes to Kanye or anti-Semitism in general is chilling but not surprising,” the MRC statement said. “What is new and sad is the fear of Jews to speak out in their own defense.”

Read MRC’s full letter – signed by studio heads Modi Wiczyk, Asif Satchu and Scott Tenley – below.

This morning, after discussions with our filmmakers and distribution partners, we made the decision not to proceed with the distribution of our recently completed documentary about Kanye West. We cannot support content that reinforces its platform.

Kanye is a music producer and sampler. Last week he sampled and remixed a classic that has been known for over 3000 years – the lie that Jews are evil and conspiring to control the world for their own benefit. This song was performed acapella in the times of the Pharaohs, Babylon and Rome, became acoustic with The Spanish Inquisition and Russia’s Pale of Settlement, and Hitler recorded the song electrically. Kanye has now helped establish it in the modern era.

Lying is an important part of any discrimination and this is no different. When done well, they create the illusion that the action is just, that the fanatic is “slamming” the victim. It is crucial for anti-Semites, who must explain why they are attacking a people who make up less than half a percent of the world’s population. Not a fair fight numerically. But if the Jews are ultra powerful because of secret evil conspiracies, well the argument is it has to be fair and fine.

The silence from executives and companies when it comes to Kanye or anti-Semitism in general is disturbing but not surprising. What is new and sad is the Jews’ fear of speaking out in their own defense.

Why is a group that has historically been brave and uncompromising in its fight against anti-Semitism so quiet on Kanye?

Because of the emergence of a second lie – a lie that is at the heart of what we call anti-Semitism 2.0. Brilliantly designed, it’s quickly becoming part of mainstream thought and throwing Jews into a terrible philosophical corner. This lie goes like this:

If you support Israel’s right to exist, you are a racist.

If you are Jewish, you support Israel’s right to exist.

So if you’re Jewish, you’re a racist.

As leaders of this society (a Jew, a Muslim and a Christian) we feel obligated to tell you all that this is a pernicious, horrific use of false logic. It fits very well with the first lie that all Jews are connected by a conspiracy. And it works because many Jews are afraid to defend their religion or Israel for fear of being labeled racist. It is no truer than saying that if you support Palestine’s right to exist, you have to be anti-Semitic.

For proof of how quickly protest against Israel’s policies can turn into anti-Semitism, look at last week’s outrage at Wellesley College. The school is a historic bastion of liberalism and civil rights. But last week, the newspaper’s editorial board saw fit not only to condemn Israel, but to actually publish a map of Jewish places of worship, organizations and businesses in the area, lest they become targets of protests – or worse. It wouldn’t be shocking from neo-Nazis, but Wellesley?

The three of us want to take a very clear position on this.

· We support Palestine’s right to exist.

· We support Israel’s right to exist.

· Both nations represent a dream and an ideal for their peoples – security, liberty and prosperity.

· Both ideals are worth protecting, even if we have serious objections to the policies of the governments of both nations.

Objections to a nation’s government do not constitute grounds for discrimination against that nation’s citizens or supporters.

· We consistently reject any claim that we, our colleagues or anyone else are bigoted or racist based on their support for a country’s sovereignty and existence, all of which are flawed.

If you hear of or encounter the persistence of these intolerances and untruths, please let us know. It’s totally unacceptable. And for those who are afraid to use their voice, hopefully this encourages you to do so.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-10-24/kanye-west-documentary-canceled-mrc-antisemitic-remarks MRC cancels Kanye West documentary after antisemitic remarks

Sarah Ridley

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