Donda Academy, the controversial private school founded by Kanye West earlier this year, has closed with immediate effect, reports say and a social-media post deleted by the rapper appears to show.
The apparent abrupt closure revealed on Thursday, October 27, 2022 comes amid continuing fallout from West’s recent antisemitic comments, which led Adidas to terminate its partnership with the rapper-turned-businessman this week.
Hollywood Unlocked said it had obtained an email sent to parents of Donda Academy students, saying that “at the discretion of our founder, Donda Academy will close for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year effective immediately.”
The Times of London said the email was sent by the school’s principal, Jason Angell. Screenshots of the email also circulated online.
West appeared to confirm the news in a since-deleted Instagram post directed at Jason Lee, CEO of Hollywood Unlocked, which was first to report on the email. “Here’s the clout you’re looking for,” West said in the deleted post. “My school is being shut down.”
Per Hollywood Unlocked, Angell says in his email that the school intends to reopen in September 2023, adding that “we are confident that our scholars will continue to advance as the creative innovators, influencers and academic leaders of the next generation.”
Donda Academy, an unaccredited Christian school, requires parents to sign non-disclosure agreements before students join, Rolling Stone reported. It has around 100 students, with half attending on scholarships funded by West and his friends.
Students at the $15,000-a-year school wear uniforms made by Balenciaga and the rapper’s own brand, Yeezy.
Its basketball team, which recruited some of the top high school players from around the US, also wore designer uniforms. TMZ reported on Wednesday that the team had been kicked out of a prestigious tournament due to its founder’s comments.
West sparked controversy this month by wearing a White Lives Matter t-shirt and tweeting: “I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Adidas said ending its partnership with West would probably cost the company $246 million this year.