Barneys New York CEO has apologized for the recent experiences of two black shoppers who said they were racially profiled. According to WABC-TV in New York, Mark Lee said in a statement, “Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies.” Yesterday, Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network had demanded a meeting with the retailer.
As reported by NewsOne, shoppers Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips both have lawsuits pending against Barneys after being accosted by police who accused them of stealing items from the store after they purchased costly items.
Barneys says it is also hiring Michael Yaki, who serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, to review their practices for fairness.
Meanwhile, a Change.org petition is turning up the heat on hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, asking him to cut ties with Barneys. Derrick Bowers writes in the petition:
Jay Z is currently in partnership with Barneys New York for the release of his holiday collection — called “A New York Holiday” (or BNY SCC). Barneys lacks any connection with the black and hip-hop community. And without his vast wealth and brand power, they would see him the same as they see Trayon Christian. Jay Z should be appalled by Barneys actions, and withdraw all support from them. If he does this, he will send a clear message to all corporations that are like-minded, that this behavior cannot be tolerated any longer.
On “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, the host took things a bit farther today when he asked, “Should we do a Black flash mob at Barneys?” With tongue-planted-in-cheek, Martin called for a “Barneys Try On Day,” when thousands of black shoppers would swarm the store and ask to try on clothing. Find out what he suggest they do at the end of it, in a clip here.