Jay Z has a problem and it involves Barneys New York and racism. After a couple of individuals recently came forward claiming they were racially profiled after shopping at the luxury department store, a Change.org petition has been drawn up calling for the rapper/mogul to end his relationship with the retailer.
Hova and Barneys are scheduled to launch the much ballyhooed “A New York Holiday” collection in late November. As part of their collaboration, the “Picasso Baby” rapper designed and curated high end items that bear his name with brands like Hublot, Balenciaga and Rick Owens that will be sold at Barneys.
However, news broke this week that Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips were both stopped by police (the former was detained) after purchasing a $350 belt and a $2500 purse, respectively, for Barneys. Both of the aforementioned are Black and believe they were only approached by police officers because of their race.
The Change.org petition, titled “Shawn Carter aka Jay Z: End all partnerships with Barneys New York” and organized by Derick Bowers of Brooklyn, NY, references both incidents as evidence of “blatant prejudice and discrimination” against Black people by Barneys, which Bowers believes is reason enough for Jay Z to end his relationship with the retailer.
Part of the petition reads:
Barneys lacks any connection with the black and hip-hop community. And without his vast wealth and brand power, they would see him the same as they see Trayon Christian. Jay Z should be appalled by Barneys actions, and withdraw all support from them. If he does this, he will send a clear message to all corporations that are likeminded, that this behavior cannot be tolerated any longer.
At the time of this post, the petition, which is addressed to Jay Z’s publicist, has amassed almost 1,700 signatures.
Jay Z and Barneys’ “A New York Holiday” launches less than a month away on November 20. Considering that the New York Daily News reports the deal is worth millions (part of the proceeds go to charity), don’t hold your breath about Hova throwing Barneys under the bus.
Let us know what you think Jay Z’s next move should be in the comments. Check out Jay Z on the cover of the New York Daily News on the flip.
Photo: New York Daily News