Jay Z Confirms He’s Keeping Deal with Barneys & Vows to Fight Racial Profiling

Photo Credit: Bbsrock
Photo Credit: Bbsrock

By: Amanda Anderson-Niles

Jay Z found himself in the middle of controversy after Barneys made headline news thanks to racial profiling accusations made by black shoppers. The rapper and business man instantly became the topic of conversation considering he just inked a deal with the retailer to release a Holiday collection. A petition urging Jay Z to sever ties with company hit the internet and garnered thousands of signatures, but Jay Z said in a statement that he was not going to be so quick to end the deal and needed time to process the facts. But now the rapper has just confirmed that he will not be ending his deal with the company and he still plans to use all proceeds for his charity. He also says that he will now be involved in revising policies that will tackle racial profiling at the hands of the retailer. He writes via his website:

In the past several weeks two separate investigations were launched as a result of the wrongful detention of Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips. 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. Those findings are not yet available.

While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s Office, 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. 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 also breaks down how the money earned will be given to his foundation:

As I previously stated, the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation. From this collection, the Foundation will receive not only 25% of sales, it will now receive the additional 75% of Barneys’ sales, totalling 100% of all sales from BNY SCC. 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’s decision to stick with Barneys is being met with mixed reactions, but one of the shoppers who was racially profiled by the store said recently that he’s disappointed in the rapper for not cutting ties.


  1. I’m disappointed. I really feel like he should have walked away to make a statement, but maybe I was expecting too much from him.

  2. I really wish he would have ended this deal. That would have sent a stronger message than what he plans to do now. But whatever. It is what it is and I can’t say I’m surprised.

  3. I respect him for this! He’s saying he’s going to work with the store to make sure this stops happening! I’m all for that.

  4. While this sounds good and was obviously written by his PR person, only time will tell if he will really make a difference or not. Celebs have a way of being temporarily passionate about causes.

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