Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Hip-hop mogul Jay Z is still standing by his decision to work with Barneys of New York despite having to cancel tomorrow night’s launch party for their ‘New York Holiday’ collection.

According to MTV, the kick-off event was supposed to be held at an off-site location. However a spokesperson for Barneys claims that it was nixed “due to unforeseen circumstances.” It is also not clear whether the cancellation is due to the all of the controversy surrounding Barneys’ alleged racial profiling but I wouldn’t count it out.

As previously reported, Jay Z has been under fire over the last month for not terminating his alliance with the high end retailer, who’s being sued by two African American customers over alleged discrimination.  In addition, the rapper has been criticized for only looking out for his own interests, since his Shawn Carter Foundation would be the direct beneficiary of the collection’s profits.

However, Jay Z has maintained that he is sticking with Barneys until he finds out exactly what community leaders like Al Sharpton and The New York State Attorney have discussed regarding the store’s policy on minority shoppers. Carter even revealed recently that all proceeds from the collaboration will now go to his foundation instead of 25% which was originally stated plus an additional 10 % from all Barneys stores nationwide on November 20. Again, the funds from the sales will provide scholarships to inner city youth.

“I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue,” Jay wrote on his Life and Times website. “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.”

In addition to his statement, Barneys released a new statement of their own regarding their stance on racial profiling:

“Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. While all of our investigations have been consistent in finding that no Barneys New York employee was involved in either of the deplorable situations concerning Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, an issue exists in our industry, and we intend to be part of the solution. As we have stated all along, if we learn any procedures or practices are not consistent with our zero-tolerance policy, we will immediately take corrective action including terminating those employees responsible.”

RC will keep you posted on this situation as it continues to unfold.


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