Jay Z Releases Statement on Barneys Controversy & Says He Feels He's Being Demonized


Jay Z Releases Statement on Barneys Controversy & Says He Feels He’s Being Demonized

By  | 
jay z official statement on barneys

Photo Credit: SXSW./Facebook

By: Amanda Anderson-Niles

Rapper and business man Jay Z has found himself in the middle of controversy now that the retailer he partnered with (Barneys) for a Holiday collection is under fire for allegedly racially profiling two African Americans after they made expensive purchases from the store. Fans are calling for him to drop his deal with Barneys and take a stand on behalf of those who are fed up with racial profiling, and there’s even an online petition growing in signatures calling for Jay Z to denounce his affiliation. Jay didn’t say a word about it when he was asked to comment about the incident by reporters the other day, but he later took to his website sometime yesterday to release an official statement on the matter. In the statement, the rapper claims that he never stood to make a dime from the deal and the money that was projected to be made from the items sold was supposed to go to the Sean Carter Foundation:

This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. 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 also says that he doesn’t want to be swift to make a decision and cut ties with the retailer until he gets all the facts first. He also asked why he is being demonized by the media:

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. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education. I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.


Despite not making a decision just yet, he did reiterate that he is against discrimination of all kinds. He also points out that he feels him jumping to conclusions without all the facts makes him no better than the NYPD officers and Barneys staff who jumped to conclusions and assumed blacks were making expensive purchases with fake credit cards and arrested them without proof that a crime had been committed:

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? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter


What do you think about Jay Z’s statement? Did he make valid points or did he miss the mark?


In related news, Rev. Al Sharpton is coming to Jay Z’s defense and he tells the press that Jay Z should not be the focus of the outrage:

“Some people want to make this about Jay Z. No, this is about Barneys first.”


Amanda is a TV junkie with a passion for all things reality television. She's from Decatur, GA.


  1. Realness

    October 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    He doesn’t want to make a decision without looking at all the facts? Um the facts are right in his face. They are a store that arrests blacks who make purchases they don’t feel we can afford. I am very disappointed in this statement.

  2. And What?

    October 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    He took all this time and this was the best he could come up with for a statement. Chile I guess…

  3. My 2 Cents

    October 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I understand his side but seriously, he can find better organizations and businesses to work with to raise money for his charity. Especially since most of the money that he raises for the foundation goes to helping people of color anyway.

  4. Barbee

    October 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I’m not feeling this statement. I’m sorry. I’m still a fan but seriously, it just sounds like PR to me.

  5. Lisa

    October 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    He just needs to cut ties and find another business to work with. All money isn’t good money.

  6. Anonymous

    October 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I actually like his statement. He’s right. If he jumps to a conclusion before he sits down and looks at all the facts, he is no better than NYPD and Barneys But he does need to end this deal. Seriously.

  7. Fashionista

    October 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Al Sharpton has a point. It does seem like the media has made this whole thing about Jay Z but he’s not the person that did the racial profiling. We can’t forget that.

    • Calypso Candy

      October 28, 2013 at 3:57 am

      Exactly. Everyone is coming down on him when this is about 1 specific location and their employees. Deal with that, not about who is the company working with. He’s not to blame. The mainstream media wants us to reject JayZ and deflect us from the real problem and issue at hand which is those employees and the NYPD.

  8. Gabriella

    October 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Sigh Jay is totally rubbing me the wrong way with this obviously PR written statement. The facts are the facts they are profiling black people that is not disputable. This statement is trying deter from the facts and put the attention on his charity which isn’t the issue.

  9. Queen

    October 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    FAIL. Jay Z is taking the coward approach to this. The facts have already been established. Smh.

    • really

      October 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      What facts, all they know is that 3 people claimed too have been racially profiled and of course people don’t lie so Jay z should just Break ties without knowing what happened

    • Queen

      October 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Actually yes, FACTS. And only two people claimed to be racially profiled by Barneys. The third person says he was racially profiled by Macy’s. So you’re already confused. Arrest records show that both were arrested (fact number one) and cops confirmed they were arrested because they SUSPECTED they purchased items with fake cards (fact number 2). However, they could not prove that the cards were fake and both were released (fact number 3). And Barneys is meeting with civil rights activists to help stop it from occurring ever again (fact number 4). I like Jay Z but I call it how I see it. I’m also a black woman BEFORE I’m a Jay Z fan. I won’t sit here and give him a pass because I like him. That ain’t me. But carry on.

      • Cherry

        October 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm

        I like Jay-Z but completely agree with you. It’s not okay to overlook racial discrimination under the guise of charity smh

  10. Jamaica

    October 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    LOL this statement is some bullish-t.

  11. CiCi

    October 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Really Jay? SMDH.

  12. Anonymous

    October 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Jay Z is such an uncle tom. He’s going to keep right on and lose all the black fans he has left.

  13. nyc girl

    October 28, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Ahhhh Jay you dropped the ball on this one, regardless of where the money goes doesn’t matter. It’s BLOOD MONEY!!!! there are other companies that you can raise money with. Shawn Carter straight out of Marcy Projects Brooklyn New York…. It could have been YOU your Brother,Uncle,Cousin,close friend??? What’s up with that BS statement “DON’T FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM!!!!!!

  14. holdon

    October 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    It really doesn’t matter what he says or does, people will never be satisfied and they will always have something to say. You want him to come out and basically say, you all don’t like black people so I’m pulling this line..done. First off business doesn’t work like that, regardless of emotional attachment. He believes the pros outweigh the cons and I agree. Somebody needs this money, somewhere this is the one shot their child has to go to school, and you all want to deny them because of what a couple of stupid people did. That is not right. It’s not about keeping it 100, its about making calculated decisions. We are all ready to point fingers but he’s right what are the facts, not hearsay, not hazy recollection running high on emotion or media attention but the facts. Jay is the same person that renounced Cristal years ago because the owner said his champagne was not made for black people. He came out and boycotted it, and went as far to go back and change the lyrics to songs that mentioned it, so if there is action to take I’m quite sure he would. So everybody step off your convenient racial soap boxes and calm down.

    • Jen

      October 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *