Jay Z Defends His Deal With Barneys After Racial Profiling Controversy
Jessica C. Andrews
October 28, 2013
The holiday season hasn’t even officially begun and already, shopping plans are swept up in controversy. After two shoppers came forward about racial profiling incidents at Barneys, 13,670 people signed a petition urging Jay Z to drop his collaboration with the luxury retailer. But the rapper isn’t ready to walk away from the multimillion dollar deal just yet. According to a new statement on his site, Life & Times, he doesn’t react off of emotion and is waiting for the facts. What facts does he need besides the report that a man was arrested for legally purchasing a $350 belt and a woman, spending her tax refund on a designer bag for her mother, was accused of credit card fraud? We’re not exactly sure.
But we do know that Jay Z will wait until tomorrow’s meeting between Barneys and community leaders like Al Sharpton before making a final decision. In the meantime, he’d like you to stop “demonizing” him and attacking his character, much like the attack on the people treated like criminals for buying a bag and a belt. As for profit, he says he’s not making a dime off his collab with Barneys and 25% of the revenue will go towards education for underprivileged kids through his foundation. While we’re ecstatic a portion of the proceeds will help put people through school, we can’t help but wonder if Jay thinks it’s OK to spend up to $33,900 of our hard-earned money at a company that practices discrimination — as long as some of it goes to charity. We just hope the kids from his foundation never have the urge to shop at Barneys for a designer bag.
For more on the rapper’s deal with Barneys, check out the petition to end the Jay Z x Barneys collaboration, a $33,900 piece from the collection and Jay Z and Barneys’ “New York Holiday.”
[Photo: Splash News/Instagram]