NEW YORK — Rap mogul Jay Z — who has been thrust into a debate over alleged racial profiling at Barneys New York — broke his silence Saturday, defending himself from critics who have insisted he break off his partnership with the tony department store over the allegations.
The music icon and entrepreneur spoke in an online statement a day after a second African-American college student claimed that an undercover officers stopped and questioned her after she bought a $2,500 bag at the Manhattan store.
Jay Z himself has nothing to do with these cases, though he does have something to do with Barneys: He has a fashion line that is set to sell there. A Change.org petition calling for him to end this collaboration had more than 13,000 signatures Saturday night.
“Right as Jay Z prepares to roll out a new partnership with Barneys New York for the holiday shopping season, I’ve been disappointed to hear new allegations about how the retailer treats young black consumers,” wrote the petition’s creator, Derick Bowers of Brooklyn.
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