Jay Z Defends Deal With Barneys After Racial Profiling Accusations
Jay Z is known for his noteworthy collaborations, but his latest collabo has not been a hit with fans.
Back in September, Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, announced he was teaming up with luxury store Barneys New York to release his New York Holiday Collection. But recently, two African-American Barneys shoppers, Trayon Christian, 19 and Kayla Phillips, 21, hit the high-end retailer with lawsuits claiming that they were accosted by police officers simply based on the color of their skin. Thousands of Hova fans signed a petition on Change.org demanding the “Holy Grail” rapper cut all ties with Barneys.
In response to the controversy, Barneys issued a statement on their official Facebook page. “Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies,” the CEO of Barneys New York said in a statement. “We want to reinforce that Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. We are a strong proponent of equal rights and equal treatment for all human beings. Our mission is to ensure that all customers receive the highest-quality service—without exception.”
With signatures on the Change.org petition reaching 20,000 and counting, Jigga broke his silence regarding the controversy.
“This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation,” Jay Z wrote in his official statement on his website Life and Times. “I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th, and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity…not profit.”
Jay Z continued to defend himself saying, “I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced, and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts. I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change.”
Do you think Jay Z should pull out of his partnership with Barneys?