Leave it to Sharon Osbourne to always tell it like it is. The 67-year-old took Kanye West to task for receiving between $2-$5 million in federal Paycheck Protection Program stimulus funds to pay employees at his Yeezy fashion label. The news came on the heels of Forbes magazine officially classifying him as a billionaire on Apr. 24. The publication said that his fashion brand was worth an estimated $1.3 billion, of which Kanye owns a one hundred percent stake in the company. Sharon said on July 7’s The Talk that the 43-year-old new presidential hopeful should have used his own deep pockets to pay his employees, instead of turning to taxpayers.
“Well he should have used the 1.3 [billion] and put it in his company,” Sharon explained. “I know obviously, you know the airlines had to be bailed out. But for me, it’s kind of like small companies…I thought it was like mama and papa type companies that really don’t have that much profit in the bank. So you know they need help to keep people’s jobs and everybody going. And I just think that when you have that sort of cash, it’s embarrassing to ask when you have it yourself,” she said of Kanye’s $1.3 billion brand taking up to $5 million in government stimulus.
The money Kanye received saved 106 jobs at Yeezy, according to a report disclosed by the U.S. Treasury’s Small Business Administration (SBA) on July 6. Sharon, along with many others, was shocked to learn that someone with as much money as Kanye would turn to the government to pay his employees. Especially with the way in which he has flaunted his incredible wealth.
“You have it, you have more than enough to keep 100 people going, so why ask the government, take from the government?” Sharon continued, referring to Kanye. “I just don’t get that. When you are so wealthy — your family, everybody in your family is so wealthy, why are you doing this? I think he should give the money back,” Sharon scolded about Kanye’s federal government stimulus check.
Sharon’s co-panelist Sheryl Underwood agreed that Kanye and wife Kim Kardashian being “so expressive with how much wealth they have” is one of the reasons people are so upset about him receiving taxpayer funds. She later added, “I wish he would have explained it better. Because if you really need it because you are keeping 200 people’s jobs at the Yeezy factory, maybe. And I’m saying maybe, ’cause I don’t even agree with this. He got enough money to give me some,” she snarked. So far, Kanye hasn’t comment on his PPP assistance.
The Associated Press reported on July 6 that the Treasury Department’s Paycheck Protection Program “authorized $520 billion for nearly 5 million mostly small businesses and nonprofits.” But some of the money went to major restaurant chains including TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, West VA’s billionaire governor and Wall Street hedge funds, in addition to Yeezy’s clothing business.