German carmaker Audi on Wednesday announced that it was parting ways with its Russian brand ambassador, TV presenter and 2018 presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, with immediate effect, because of suspected racist statements.
“The incidents known to us today are unacceptable to us,” Werner Neuhold, the company’s head of integrity, compliance and risk management, said in response to an inquiry.
Audi “strictly rejects any form of racism and discrimination,” he added.
According to a report by Business Insider magazine, Sobchak had criticised anti-racism protests by the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. on her Instagram profile.
Audi had planned to part with Sobchak even before the current incidents, as she had increasingly polarised public opinion, the company said.
A verbal regular termination of the contract had already taken place on June 16, and in view of the latest statements, the termination without notice had been sent out on Wednesday.
The carmaker had worked with Sobchak for eight years.