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Weekend Express with Lynn Smith

Fast-paced look at the day's essential news and buzz-worthy stories

Jay Z: I'm 'being demonized' over Barneys deal

  • Backlash is growing over allegations of racial profiling at Barneys New York
  • Two customers say officers stopped them after they made expensive purchases
Jay Z: I'm 'being demonized' over Barneys deal

Jigga who? Woman doesn't recognize Jay-Z

A woman on the subway doesn't realize she's sitting next to Jay-Z.

Rapper Jay Z is speaking out after thousands of people signed an online petition asking him to break ties with the high-end store Barneys.

The store is facing two separate allegations of racial profiling. At least two black customers, Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, claim they were stopped by police officers after they made expensive purchases at the store. 

Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is set to launch a holiday clothing line on November 20 at the department store. Part of the proceeds are expected to go to The Shawn Carter Foundation. The rap mogul and entrepreneur released a statement on his website Saturday, saying his idea for the collaboration was "born out of creativity and charity...not profit."

Jay Z also said he is against discrimination of any kind, but questioned why he was "being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?"

The CEO of Barneys is expected to meet with the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network about the situation later this week.


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