Kanye West Set to Buy Parler

Kanye West has reached an agreement in principle to buy the social media platform Parler, The New York Times reports, citing a news release from Parler’s parent company, Parlement Technologies. The platform, which arose in the wake of Trumpism, brands itself as a free-speech haven, railing against censorship on mainstream social media. West’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were recently restricted amid a spate of antisemitic posts and public statements.

In the news release, West said, “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.” He and Parler expect to finalize the agreement in principle later this year.

This past weekend, West appeared on the YouTube series Drink Champs and repeated more antisemitic conspiracy theories, as well as questioning George Floyd’s cause of death, as established by the Minnesota court that convicted Derek Chauvin of murder. Last week, LeBron James’ unscripted series The Shop: Uninterrupted pulled an episode that it had filmed with West, saying he perpetuated “hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes” during filming. The previous week, he used an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight to reiterate his support for former President Donald J. Trump and, in clips apparently cut from the show, to perpetuate stereotypes about Jewish people. 

Parlement Technologies’ CEO, George Farmer, is married to the right-wing provocateur Candace Owens, who has close ties with West. The pair appeared together at Paris Fashion Week this month in “White Lives Matter” shirts.