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Jay-Z Has Barney’s Back in Racial Profiling Crisis

shutterstock_108551027Don’t worry, Barney’s: Hova’s got you covered.

The New York department store’s recent racial profiling scandal has led execs to take desperate measures including a “blame the NYPD” damage control strategy as the state’s attorney general investigates the matter. An upcoming holiday sponsorship with Jay-Z complicated things, but the man’s sticking with the brand: he refused online requests to back out of the campaign, and now he’s announced a new move seemingly designed to take some of the heat off Barney’s.

On Friday, he made a statement via his website announcing a change in the campaign: the parties previously planned to donate 25% of sales generated by the partnership to the Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides scholarships to underprivileged youth. That number will now be 100% plus 10% of sales on launch day November 20th.

Jay also gives the impression that he’s taking the lead on the race relations issue:

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.

The easy position would have been to walk away…I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward.

Ever the self-promoter. Barney’s then issued a statement:

Moving forward, Mr. Carter’s leadership in this process will further strengthen the industry’s ability to ensure that anyone who walks into a retail establishment is treated equally and with respect.

We might say “way to imply that everyone in your industry does this”, but Macy’s also faces a class-action lawsuit filed by Treme actor Rob Brown—and they don’t have a spokesman with Jay-Z’s visibility.

Will this move ensure that Macy’s holiday sales numbers don’t take a hit? The brand doesn’t have 99 problems, but this story could be a big one.

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