Jay Z Will Launch Collection At Barneys Despite Racial Profiling Cases

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Jay-Z has released a statement announcing he will go continue with his controversial business arrangement with Barneys, despite allegations of the store racial profiling. Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has released a statement on his website announcing he will continue launching his line at the New York store.

Jay Z
Jay Z has released a statement on his website.

Barneys New York Inc. and Macy's Inc. are currently being investigated by the New York state attorney general following a number of black customers complaining they were stopped by police after making expensive purchases. Whether or not the stores racially profile is being investigated and they have been ordered to provide the Attorney General with information on their policies for questioning and detaining customers.

The NY Daily News reported the allegations at the end of October although it is believed the complaints predate the investigation by several weeks, if not years (in 2005 Macy's paid out $600 000 in settlements to black and Latino customers for similar complaints). Both stores are in similar legal predicaments with a New York man filing a lawsuit claiming he was detained by police for two hours after buying an expensive belt. Meanwhile actor Rob Brown, the star of HBO's Treme was held for an hour and handcuffed after he purchased an item at Macy's. Brown is also filing a lawsuit against the store on the grounds of racial discrimination.

Rob Brown
Rob Brown has filed a law suit against Macy's.

A number of celebrities have asked shoppers to boycott the store and rapper Jay-Z has been under pressure to cancel his deal with Barney's. However, Jay-Z has decided to go ahead with his business arrangement, which will see the launch of the BNY SCC collection at the store. He explained his motives behind going ahead with the launch, stating "I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. 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."

Jay-Z's decision to go ahead with the business may well be partly charitably motivated, something he was keen to stress in a statement released on his website. On the subject he wrote "the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation." Jay-Z explained the economics behind his arrangement: "Along with 100% of sales from the collaboration, the Foundation will receive an additional 10% of all retail sales from Barneys New York stores nationwide and Barneys.com on November 20th."

Jay Z
Jay Z will go ahead with his Barneys deal.


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