Jay Z will move forward with controversial Barneys deal

10:12 PM, Nov 15, 2013   |    comments
Jay Z attends "The Great Gatsby" world premiere at Avery Fisher Hall in New York in May. (Photo: Evan Agostini, AP)
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Jay Z says he'll move forward with his holiday partnership with luxury retailer Barneys New York, which has been accused of racial profiling two black customers at its Manhattan flagship store.

The hip-hop icon and entrepreneur, who has been under pressure to call off the deal, says he's continuing with 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," Jay Z wrote Friday in a statement on his website. "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 rap mogul, whose given name is Shawn Carter, says his team is privy to the status of Barneys' third party investigation and had also been in contact with the New York State Attorney General's office for the status of its investigation, the findings of which "are not yet available."

He also stressed the charitable aspect of his connection to Barneys, with 100% of the collection's proceeds now earmarked for his Shawn Carter Foundation. Additionally, "the foundation will receive 10% of all retail sales from Barneys New York stores nationwide and Barneys.com on Nov. 20."

It was announced in September that Jay Z's foundation and Barneys were joining forces for "A New York Holiday," a collaboration set to include original interactive windows and exclusive limited-edition products.

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