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Kanye West and Gap Push Back Yeezy Launch After Uvalde School Shooting


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The Gap announced that it is briefly postponing the rollout of its Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga launch until Friday in wake of Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which an 18-year-old gunman allegedly killed 19 grade school children and two adults.

“In light of the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, we are postponing the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga launch until Friday, May 27,” read a statement about latest collection from Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia. “As we pause, our hearts go out to the families and communities impacted.”

Apple also canceled Tuesday’s red carpet premiere for season two of Physical, set to take place on in Los Angeles, and CBS pulled the season finale for FBI, which was centered around a student’s involvement in a deadly robbery.

The two-day pause came after the latest shocking mass shooting in the U.S., in which police said a heavily armed 18-year-old in body armor allegedly entered Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School and began shooting after reportedly killing his grandmother. CNN reported that the attack was at least the 38th armed assault at K-12, colleges and universities so far this year. It was the 27th school shooting so far this year, which has also seen 212 mass shooting incidents in 145 days so far.

In an emotional primetime address, a clearly shaken President Joe Biden expressed his frustration at the refusal of some members of Congress to pass any substantive gun control legislation in wake of the nation’s second mass shooting incident in two weeks. “Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?” Biden asked.

“The gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons, which make them the most and largest profit,” Biden said of the assault that reportedly involved a military-style AR-15 rifle, which has also been used in more than a dozen other recent mass shootings in the U.S. “For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry. Where in God’s name is our backbone?”

The murder of school children and educators elicited a howl of outrage from many gun rights supporters, Democratic politicians (including former President Barack Obama) and artists, who decried the silence from conservative legislators they say are beholden to the powerful gun lobby. Among those speaking out were Texas native Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo, with the latter telling a crowd at L.A.’s Greek Theatre on Tuesday night that she was “so devastated” by the slaughter of grade schoolers who authorities said were forced to run and hide for their lives during the assault.

“I wish we would never have to worry about our safety or our lives at places that are dedicated to our learning and growing,” Rodrigo said. “And I’m so heartbroken that this is the reality that we’re living in — and we need stricter gun control laws in America.”

The massacre of children came 10 days after a heavily armed 18-year-old white supremacist opened fire and allegedly killed 10 people in a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket where he reportedly went to specifically target and murder Black shoppers. The attack on Robb Elementary also came nearly 10 years after a 20-year-old gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.

The first drop in the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga series came in February with an eight-piece collection featuring multiple logo tees, hoodies and sweatpants in tan, brown, off-white, gray, navy blue, red and black color ways, along with a padded denim jacket and a five-pocket denim pant. The collection paid homage to “Gap’s timeless icons” and was available sizes XS-XXL with price points starting at $140.

A version of this story originally posted on Billboard.

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