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Barneys cancels Jay Z fundraiser amid claims of racial profiling

Barneys has canceled a fundraiser for Jay Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation amidst claims of racial profiling by two black customers, despite the hip-hop star giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Jay ZJust days after Jay Z said he was standing by Barneys after the luxe department store was accused of racially profiling customers, the pricey shop dumped its fundraiser for his charitable foundation.

In October, two black customers accused Barneys of interrupting their legitimate purchases and treating them as fraudsters purely because of their skin color. The store claims no employee was involved in any such altercations.

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When called upon to bow out of his collaboration with the store, Jay Z declined any immediate action until he could determine what really went down. He announced his decision to stick with the store on his web page just days ago — with stipulations.

“In the past several weeks two separate investigations were launched as a result of the wrongful detention of Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips. My team has been privy to the status of the Barneys third party consultant investigation. In continuing our research, we also contacted the New York State Attorney General’s office for the status of their investigation into both Barneys and Macy’s,” he wrote, referring to another incident in which Tremé actor Rob Brown accused Macy’s of profiling, too. “Those findings are not yet available.”

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“While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of 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,” Jay Z continued. “I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. 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.”

“As I previously stated, the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation. From this collection, the Foundation will receive not only 25% of sales, it will now receive the additional 75% of Barneys’ sales, totaling 100% of all sales from BNY SCC. Along with 100% of sales from the collaboration, the Foundation will receive an additional 10% of all retail sales from Barneys New York stores nationwide and on November 20th.”

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But now the store has canceled a million-dollar fundraiser for the Shawn Carter foundation that was scheduled for Wednesday night.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event has been canceled,” read a brief and mysterious statement from Barneys.

Neither party is elaborating on the shuttering of the event.

Image courtesy Tony Woolliscroft/IconicPix/

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