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Audi pulls contract with Ksenia Sobchak following comments on U.S. protests

The German car manufacturer Audi has terminated its advertising contract with Russian television host Ksenia Sobchak, following an Instagram post that the company considered racist, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

Audi “rejects all forms of racism and discrimination,” a company representative told the press on June 24.

Sobchak had been collaborating with Audi for eight years, acting as the face of the brand in Russia.

Audi was planning to break off business relations with Sobchak back in March, due to her “controversial image.” Following her recent comments on Instagram, her contract was terminated without notice on June 24, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

In June, Ksenia Sobchak posted a video on Instagram with the caption “Minneapolis, I am with you. Watch with sound.” According to DW, the song “Ubili negra” (which roughly translates as “They killed a Black man”) by the Russian rock group “Zapreshchennye barabanshchiki” was playing in the background of the video. At the time of the news release, the Instagram post was no longer available.

Sobchak had previously commented on the protests against police violence that began in the United States after law enforcement murdered an African American man named George Floyd. Sobchak was particularly concerned with reports of property damage, wondering why the protests “were ending with the looting of the Louis Vuitton store” in downtown Los Angeles. 

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