The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has revoked an honorary doctorate presented to rapper Kanye West, as the fallout from the rapper’s offensive feedback about Black and Jewish people continues.
The faculty announced the decision on Thursday December 8, saying in a statement that:
“The School of the Art Institute of Chicago condemns and repudiates Kanye West’s (now know as Ye) anti-Black, antisemitic, racist, and dangerous statements, particularly those directed at Black and Jewish communities.
“Ye’s actions do not align with SAIC’s mission and values, and we’ve rescinded his honorary degree,” it added.
The 45-yr-old star was given the honorary doctorate in 2015, in popularity of his contributions to arts and culture. Following his debatable actions, a group referred to as Against Hate at SAIC released a trade.org petition calling for the award to be rescinded, saying it would be harmful to permit it to face.
“Regardless of his contribution prior to the receipt of this award, it is harmful to allow Ye, as he is presently known, to continue to use the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to help legitimize hatred and violence,” the petition read in part.
“This harm impacts the artists, designers and scholars affiliated to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and their values of justice, compassion, and free expression without hatred.”
According to an update shared at the petition web page on Thursday, SAIC President Elissa Tenny wrote in a letter that West’s comments are “disgusting and condemnable” and were “painful for our complete network.”
“This was a difficult decision to make, and one that has been deliberated thoroughly,” Tenny wrote, adding that this marks the first time in the school’s 80-year history that a degree has been revoked.
The rescinding of the honorary degree comes weeks after a mural celebrating West turned into painted over in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.
He also recently lost juicy deals with brands consisting of Balenciaga, Adidas and Gap. His Twitter account was suspended after he shared an image of a celebrity of David with a swastika inner.