Shortly after two Barneys shoppers came forward last month accusing the high-end retailer of racial profiling, more than 50,000 people have called upon Jay Z to send a “clear message” by calling off his partnership with them. But on Friday (November 15), Hov announced on his Life and Times website that he plans to move forward with his NNY SCC collection, under the condition that he has a leadership role 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 wrote. “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.”
Until now, Hov had avoided making any concrete decisions on his collection’s future, saying he wanted to wait until he could meet with community leaders and Barneys and hear from the New York State Attorney General’s Office about investigations into the racial-profiling case. In a previous statement, Jay Z asked, “If I make snap judgements, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles?”
Additionally, Jay announced Friday, 100 percent of the collection’s proceeds will now go to Jay’s Shawn Carter Foundation, a charity that awards scholarships to students facing socio-economic hardships. The charity will also get an extra 10 percent of all retail sales from any purchases made at Barneys stores or on Barneys.com on November 20, the day the collection is slated to kick off. The Foundation was originally supposed to receive 25 percent of the profit, with Barney’s receiving the remaining 75 percent.
Despite speculation that Jay was staying in the deal for his own financial gain, the MC had maintained in a previous statement that “I am not making a dime from this collection… 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.”