NEW YORK – Jay-Z -- under increasing pressure to back out of a collaboration with the luxury store Barneys New York after it was accused of racially profiling two black customers -- said Saturday he's being unfairly "demonized" for just waiting to hear all of the facts.
The rap mogul made his first statement about the controversy in a posting on his website. He has come under fire for remaining silent as news surfaced this week that two young black people said they were profiled by Barneys after they purchased expensive items from their Manhattan store.
An online petition and Twitter messages from fans have been circulating this week, calling on the star to bow out of his upcoming partnership with Barneys for the holiday season, which will have the store selling items by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z, with some of the proceeds going to his charity. He is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display.
But Jay-Z -- whose real name is Shawn Carter -- defended himself, saying that he hasn't spoken about it because he's still trying to figure out exactly what happened.
"I move and speak based on facts and not emotion," the statement said. "I haven't made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?" he said, referring to local newspaper headlines.
A Connecticut high school principal has shelved his school’s planned performance of the Broadway play, “Rent,” saying the subject matter could prove problematic if not properly handled with sufficient thought and planning.
The Connecticut Post reports Trumbull High School Principal Marc Guarino said he wasn't informed by the school’s Thespian Society of their intent to reprise the “school edition” of Jonathan Larson’s famous rock musical.
Guarino said he, instead, learned about the March performance from a “third-party outside the school,” according to The Post.