Jay-Z to continue collaboration with Barneys New York

Nov. 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Rapper Jay-Z said he plans to continue his relationship with Barneys New York after two black customers said they were racially profiled at the store.

Two black customers came forward in October saying they were unfairly suspected of credit card fraud after buying items at the high-end retailer.

A fan of Jay-Z launched a petition calling for the rapper to end his upcoming Christmas collaboration with Barneys New York, saying it if weren't for the rapper's celebrity, he'd be treated the same way the two black customers said they were treated.

Jay-Z issued a statement Friday on his website saying he will continue to work with the retailer on the launch of the 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," he wrote. "The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. ... 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."

The original plan was for 25 percent of the proceeds from the sale of items in the BNY SCC collection to go to Jay-Z's Shawn Carter Foundation, which awards scholarships to students in need, Billboard reported. Now 100 percent of the proceeds are slated to go to the foundation, along with 10 percent of all sales at Barneys on Nov. 20, USA Today reported.

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