Well-known rapper, Jay-Z, has been put in the midst of controversy involving the high end department store Barney’s New York and the racial profiling of two of its customers. It’s now come out that the rapper was facing increasing pressure to back out of his collaboration with the department store after it accused two black customers of stealing expensive items, which they had in fact purchased. The original reason why Jay-Z and Barney’s teamed up was to benefit Jay-Z’s charity, The Shawn Carter Foundation. The foundation provides scholarship money to underprivileged students, allowing them the chance to attend college.
The rap mogul first came under attack for remaining silent and not immediately responding to the event at Barney’s. However, soon after Jay-Z responded to the controversy through his website, stating that he’s being unfairly “demonized” for not getting personally involved and waiting to hear for the full story. He later stated that, “making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter but all the people that stand a chance at higher education.”
This situation proved to be quite a tough one to solve in order to satisfy both his relationship with Barney’s and the public. Although he did release a statement, it was quite delayed, and allowed for the public to take this story and turn it into a much bigger situation then it should have been. However, he was able to maintain a positive relationship with the department store, while also recognizing the discriminatory act, which showed sympathy to the falsely accused.
In this case did Jay-Z make the right decision by not getting immediately involved, or should he have pulled the plug on his collaboration?
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Jenna Stern.