UTA Chief Jeremy Zimmer Implores Agents: Please Support the Boycott of Kanye West’

Public instances of anti-semitism around Los Angeles have prompted UTA co-founder and CEO Jeremy Zimmer to issue a company-wide memo addressing the matter.

In a note sent to staff on Oct. 23 under the subject line “Rise of Anti Semitism and Hate,” Zimmer, whose agency represents such music clients as Bad Bunny, Jonas Brothers and the Kid Laroi, outlined the company’s policy on the heels of anti-Jewish comments made by Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West.

“As a company we stand for a wide diversity of voices and ideas; But we can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-semitism,” Zimmer wrote. “Please support the boycott of Kanye West.  Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful things.”

As a result of incendiary remarks Ye made on news media, Antisemites took to a Los Angeles freeway overpass to express their support of the rapper. Also on Sunday, fliers were distributed around Brentwood identifying entertainment executives as “Jewish.”

Ye was once a client of UTA, although it was short-lived and he returned to his previous agency, CAA, in 2016 after a year away.

Read Zimmer’s note in its entirety below:

I’m saddened to write that once again we’re seeing a surge in anti-Semitism in our communities, fueled by Kanye’s comments and a resulting in an incident in Los Angeles yesterday where hateful banners were placed over the 405 freeway.  
Regrettably, anti-Semitism, racism and many forms of hate and intolerance are part of the fabric of society. Generally, they live as a plague eroding the health of communities and are combatted by understanding, tolerance and the general goodness of most people.

But throughout history some have used their public platform to spew the plague out loud and spread the contagion to dangerous effect. Kanye is the latest to do so, and we’re seeing how his words embolden others to amplify their vile beliefs. I’ve also seen copies of horribly anti-Semitic flyers left this weekend on the doorsteps of homes in LA neighborhoods, showing that the 405 banners are not the end of it. 

Equally worrying is what is happening on college campuses, where concern and debate about Zionism becomes veiled anti-Semitism. Wellesley College recently has been at the epicenter of this dilemma.  The Wellesley newspaper recently supported a mapping project showing the nearby Jewish owned businesses, and suggesting that they be boycotted.  The assumption being that because they are owned by Jews, they must be anti-Palestine.  This is the kind of dangerous thinking that can lead to inflaming anti-Semitism and hate, and there have been examples of it at other schools.   

Whether it’s signs on the 405 in Los Angeles, flyers on doorsteps, mapping Jewish businesses in Boston, or marching with hoods and crosses, all of these behaviors ignite the embers of bigotry, and they must not be tolerated.  
As a company we stand for a wide diversity of voices and ideas. But we can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-semitism.  Please support the boycott of Kanye West. Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful things. Let’s not be lulled into thinking this time it’s different.

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