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Jay Z is going forward with Barneys deal, despite racial profiling controversy

By Daniel S Levine,
Store will donate profits from collection to Jay Z's charity

Music mogul Jay Z said Friday that he will continue to collaborate with the controversial high-end New York store Barneys, despite the store’s recent racial profiling controversy.

The Magna Carta...Holy Grail rapper first agreed to work with Barneys this holiday season on designs and a gallery in September and it was just seen as the latest business move for Jay Z. But since then, Barneys became embroiled in a controversy when it was accused of having two African-Americans arrested for theft, even though they purchased items there.

That put Jay Z in the sights of critics, who didn’t respond first until Oct. 26, when he posted a statement on his site.

“I move and speak based on facts and not emotion,” the rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, wrote. He said he wouldn’t make a decision about his partnership until Barneys met with community leaders. “Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?” he asked.

On Friday, Jay Z announced that he made a decision. “My team has been privy to the status of the Barneys third party consultant investigation. In continuing our research, we also contacted the New York State Attorney General’s office for the status of their investigation into both Barneys and Macy’s,” he wrote. “Those findings are not yet available.”

While he waits for the results, “I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling.”

Jay acknowledged how he is in a “unique position” to use his power of celebrity to make a statement, as many have wished that he would. But he’s not going to let others make a decision for him. “I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on,” he wrote.

In conclusion, Jay decided that 100 percent of the sales from items in his collection will go to his Shawn Carter Foundation, rather than the previously announced 25 percent. (The remaining 75 percent would have going to Barneys.) The store has also agreed to donate 10 percent of sales from all Barneys stores around the country to his charity.

image: Wikimedia Commons

 

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