Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, was under fire last week for partnering with Barneys New York after the department store was accused of racial profiling. Beyoncé’s husband was uncharacteristically quiet about the fiasco and waited until Saturday to speak on the situation. He released an official statement on his website and explained why it took so long for him to respond.
First, Jay-Z said, he will not make any money himself from the collaboration with Barneys. He said the Shawn Carter Foundation will get 25 percent of all company sale proceeds and 10 percent of all the sales generated in the flagship Manhattan store on Nov. 20, in addition to another donation from the department store.
“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,” the wealthy pop star said.
HOV went on to say he did not comment on the profiling charges by black customers sooner because he is waiting for all the facts to come out. “Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?”
“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,” he said, before ultimately adding, “I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgments, 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.”
Essentially, if Jay-Z were to end his partnership with Barneys the only people who would be hurt would be those who would benefit from his charity. Since the rapper doesn’t want students to suffer it seems he is willing to continue the collaboration.
The upscale retailer released a statement of their own on Facebook, which, in part, read: "Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies.”