Kanye West’s Donda Academy closes as fallout from antisemitic remarks grows

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Kanye West’s Donda Academy is the latest victim of the fallout from the rapper’s antisemitic remarks as the unaccredited K-8 private Christian school announced to parents that it would be closing.

The private California school’s principal sent an emailed statement to parents and guardians on Wednesday night stating, “there is no school tomorrow,” The Times first reported.

“At the discretion of our Founder, Donda Academy will close for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year effective immediately,” wrote principal Jason Angell in the emailed statement.

The Simi Valley school’s principal added that these closures were not permanent and intends to “begin afresh in September of 2023.”

News of the temporary closure of the secretive school, that reportedly includes in its curriculum the teaching of parkour and requires parents and guardians to sign a non-disclosure agreement when they enrol children to the unaccredited institution, arrives just days after an educational consultant for Donda handed in their two-week notice.

Tamar Andrews, who held a prominent position at the school and has been employed there since July, reportedly resigned from her role and had her last day with the institution on 11 October, The Hollywood Reporter said.

In addition to her work with Donda Academy, Dr Andrews was also the director of early childhood education at both Temple Isaiah and American Jewish University, per websites for both institutions.

“Dr. Andrews immediately resigned from Donda Academy following Ye West’s tweet,” Allison Samek, president of Temple Isaiah of Los Angeles, told THR in a statement, noting that the educational consultant said she “she could no longer support the organization.”

The closure arrives on the heels of a flurry of fashion labels and commerical partners announcing in recent weeks that they would be terminating their professional relationship with West after the rapper unleashed a litany of antisemitic remarks on social media earlier this month and continued to do so in follow-up interviews.

Those remarks initially earned him a lockout of the accounts where he made the inflammatory posts, and he remains restricted from posting on Twitter and Instagram after the social media platforms said he’d violated their policies.

Earlier this week, Adidas announced after much speculation that the sportswear company had ended its partnership with West, describing his recent comments as “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous”.

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” the German company’s statement read, noting that it would be ending “production of Yeezy-branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies” with “immediate effect.”

The company noted that the knock-on effect of terminating this partnership will have a “short-term negative impact of up to 250 million euro on the company’s net income in 2022”.

The exodus from associating with Ye – which now counts brands like CAA, Balenciaga and Def Jam Records among the list – has also cut in to the US rapper’s own bottom line. According to Forbes Magazine, his net worth dropped from $2bn (£1.74bn) to $400m (£348m) overnight after Adidas ended their Yeezy partnership.

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