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Kanye West Accused Of Hitler Praising And Racist Behavior In New Lawsuit By Former Donda Academy Employee

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Kanye West Accused Of Hitler Praising And Racist Behavior In New Lawsuit By Former Donda Academy Employee 3

LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 21: Kanye West is seen on March 21, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

The latest lawsuit filed against Kanye West over his private Christian school Donda Academy accuses the rapper, who now goes by Ye, of mistreating Black employees, praising Adolf Hitler in front of students, pretending to masterbate in front of employees and pushing to shave students’ hair and lock them in cages.

Kanye West Accused Of Hitler Praising And Racist Behavior In New Lawsuit By Former Donda Academy Employee 4

KEY FACTS

Trevor Phillips, who worked for Donda Academy and West’s Yeezy brand for nine months in 2022 and 2023, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday accusing West of racial discrimination, harassment, whistleblower retaliation and other crimes and asking a judge to grant him at least $35,000 in damages.

Phillips has accused West of hate speech, spreading antisemitic tropes, threatening the LGBTQ+ community and threatening him with physical violence after he spoke up against the rapper, claiming he was treated “mercilessly” and berated in front of students and parents after becoming a “target” of West’s.

The lawsuit alleges a bizarre pattern of behavior by West including classifying Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany, as “an innovator” and threats by West to turn his well-documented rants against Jewish people on the LGBTQ+ community, saying “gay people are not true Christians” and “are controlled by Bill Gates.”

Phillips claimed West often said things to his staff along the lines of “the Jews are out to get me” and would spread antisemitic messages in front of the children, as well as once telling students he wanted to shave their heads and would install a jail at the school so “they could be locked in cages.”

Phillips claims West treated his white employees substantially better than those who were Black and would “​​scream and berate” Black employees while classes at Donda Academy were in session; he is also accused of telling employees they could be fired for being fat.

As an employee, Phillips says he was subject to impulsive requests unrelated to his job, lived in fear of being spontaneously fired and was at one time present while West pretended to masterbate in front of him.

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Representatives for West did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment Tuesday.

KEY BACKGROUND

West in 2022 opened an unaccredited Christian private school named Donda Academy in California. Little is known about the inner workings of the school, which required parents, faculty and staff to sign non-disclosure agreements about their involvement. Students were reportedly required to wear Yeezy and Gap uniforms designed by the rapper before he lost his Adidas and Gap partnerships, according to Rolling Stone, and adhere to a daily schedule that included “full school worship.” Tuition was reported to be $15,000 per year. The school was abruptly closed one month after it opened in the wake of antisemitic comments made by West on social media, but announced it would reopen hours later. The school has since shuttered again, but reports emerged last month that the rapper may try to revamp the school under a new name—Donda Ray Academy—at a new location in San Fernando Valley.

TANGENT

Phillips’ lawsuit joins several others that have been filed about Donda Academy. In July, a former assistant principal at the school claimed he was fired for raising concerns about Donda’s infrastructure, which included a lack of hot water, windows without glass, electrical issues and poor sanitation. Two former teachers sued in 2022, saying they were racially discriminated against as Black women and claiming Donda was operating in violation of education, health and safety codes. The complaint alleged sushi was the only lunch option provided for students, and that West spent $10,000 per week on the meals.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

In a statement to Forbes, Carney Shegerian—Phillips’ attorney—said the lawsuit was filed to show there is “no place in the world” for “discrimination, antisemitism and Hitler-love.”

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