Rapper Jay Z has been asked to cancel a deal with Barney's New York after two shopppers accused the store of racial profiling
Jay-Z is being pressured to cancel a multi-million dollar deal with Barney's New York.
The superstar rapper has signed a contract to design an exclusive line for the department store available next month, but now residents of the Brooklyn neighbourhood where he grew up have launched a petition calling on the '99 Problems' hitmaker to reconsider his contract.
The news comes after two black shoppers accused the Madison Avenue fashion store and New York Police Department of racial discrimination after they purchased expensive items.
Effie Hardy, 74, told the New York Daily News: ''Jay Z and my son grew up together. That could be his family Barneys is profiling. They would've done the same thing to him back in the day, before he got to where he is now. He should remember that.''
Local resident Annette Rush, 40, said that as a role model, Jay Z should think about the ramifications of the allegations.
She said: ''He knows how hard it is. I don't think he should sell his things there, not at a place where there's racial profiling going on. It's ridiculous.''
The controversy began on Tuesday, (22.10.13) when the two customers came forward to say that they had been stopped and detained after buying luxury items.
Trayon Christian, 19, from Queens said he was accosted by two undercover NYPD detectives for buying a $349 Ferragamo belt.
A day later, Kayla Phillips, 21, a seven-month pregnant mother from Canarsie, Brooklyn, revealed she too had been stopped.
The rapper is releasing an exclusive collection named 'A New York Holiday', the cheapest item being a $70 cotton T-shirt, while a Shawn Carter watch by Hublot with alligator skin straps will cost an incredible $33,900. The 43-year-old star is also set to decorate one of the store's iconic Christmas windows.