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Jay-Z defends deal with Barneys New York after they are accused of profiling, Rev Al Sharpton sounds off
NEW YORK (AP) — 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.
The two Barneys customers, Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, said this week they were detained by police after making expensive purchases.
Christian sued Barneys, saying he was accused of fraud after using his debit card to buy a $349 Ferragamo belt in April. Philips filed a notice of claim saying she would sue after she was stopped by detectives outside the store when she bought a $2,500 Celine handbag in February.
As the criticism grew, Barneys said Thursday it had retained a civil rights expert to help review its procedures. The CEO of Barneys, Mark Lee, offered his “sincere regret and deepest apologies.”
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Kirsten John Foy, an official with the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, said he would meet with Barneys officials on Tuesday to discuss the racial profiling allegations.
Jay-Z — who rose from a life of crime in Brooklyn to become one of the most heralded rappers and one of entertainment’s biggest superstars — has in the past called for a boycott of labels perceived to be racist, and has become more political in recent years, from speaking out about the killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin to campaigning for President Barack Obama.
Jay-Z said in this case, he’s still trying to find out what happened —which is why he was silent.
“The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts,” he added.
He also dismissed reports that he would profit from the collaboration. He said he’s “not making a dime” from working with Barneys. Instead, his Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides college scholarships to economically challenged students, will get 25 percent of all sales from the collaboration.
“This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning,” he said. “My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.””’
He also said 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,” he said. “I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.”
Jay-Z said he understood what it felt like to be racially profiled — but also didn’t want to jump to unfair conclusions.
“I am against discrimination of any kind but if I make snap judgments, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles?” he asked. “I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change.”
Earlier Saturday, Sharpton held a rally at his National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, saying black New Yorkers should put shopping at Barneys “on hold” if the retailer’s response is inadequate. But it is not the only retailer accused of racially profiling its customers. Some Sharpton supporters who attended Saturday’s rally said they had been profiled in other stores, too. Shane Lee, 51, said he went to the high-end store Bergdorf Goodman to buy shirts last year and the sales staff would not assist him. “Instead of helping me, they were staring at me,” said Lee, who is black. “I felt so uncomfortable that I just left.” A Bergdorf Goodman official did not return a call seeking comment Saturday. On Friday, Rob Brown, a black actor on the HBO series “Treme” said he was stop because of his race while shopping at Macy’s flagship Manhattan store. Brown said in his lawsuit that he was detained nearly an hour by police June 8 after employees contacted authorities about possible credit card fraud.
Macy’s didn’t comment on the litigation but said in a statement it was investigating.
EOTM Media Announces Black Enterprise as First-Time Media Partner of the EOTM Awards (Entrepreneurs On The Move)
EOTM Media is pleased to announce the addition of Black Enterprise to the roster of leading corporate partners of the 2013 EOTM Awards.
(I-Newswire) June 26, 2013 – This year’s gathering, which commences on August 4th in West Hollywood, CA is set to celebrate entrepreneurial achievements and performances in business, philanthropy and the arts.
EOTM will also recognize social and global entrepreneurs, helping to ensure they are working with more of tomorrow’s global leaders today.
“These remarkable human beings act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss in order to improve systems, invent and disseminate new approaches and advance sustainable solutions that create social value,” said Carla B., Founder of the EOTM Awards and CEO of EOTM Media.
“Black Enterprise is proud of our relationship with the EOTM Awards and for the opportunity to support the initiatives like theirs. With the very few organizations that truly support entrepreneurship, it is refreshing to see EOTM recognize some of the amazing entrepreneurs in the world,” says Black Enterprise Marketing Manager – Johann Alleyne-Morris.
“The EOTM Awards will bring together entrepreneurs of all genres and honor these outstanding individuals for their works, not popularity. We are excited to work with iconic brands, such as Black Enterprise, surrounding our inaugural awards show. This will be entrepreneurs’ biggest night and we look forward to partnering with corporate companies to connect their brands with the most influential audience across multiple platforms,” Carla B., continued.
As previously announced, Backstage, Beverly Hills Mercedes, Sprint Mobile TV, Rock Thiz Magazine, T Mobile TV, Maxi Wade Agency, Virtual Inspire Magazine, Salicious TV, Datzhott, WTV Networks, DAM Tequila amongst others are all signed on to support the awards show. Click here for a full list of media partners and sponsors. (http://www.eotmawards.com/#!media-partners/cpwx)
For more information regarding the EOTM Awards visit www.eotmawards.com.
About Black Enterprise
BLACK ENTERPRISE is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BLACK ENTERPRISE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers.
Whether you’re in corporate America, work for a smaller firm, or in business for yourself, one thing’s for certain: your spouse, children, and clients are not numbers on a spreadsheet — they are real, and they are counting on you to perform.
About the EOTM Awards
An accolade presented by the EOTM Radio & TV Network celebrating entrepreneurial achievements and performances in business, philanthropy and the arts (recordings, television, radio, literature, film, directing and writing). The EOTM Awards Show will also present “The Aaron Hatcher Award” to key individuals and organizations that promote human rights and social justice.
About EOTM Media Group
EOTM Media focuses on creating and distributing first class, studio quality entertainment content and intellectual property across multiple platforms. As a key strategic partner in the industry, EOTM makes sound investments in media and entertainment related companies and assets.
Skinnygirl® Cocktails Introduces The “New Girls” At Launch Party With The Help Of Bethenny And Celeb “Bartender” Friends
Low-Cal Cocktail Line’s Newest Products – Skinnygirl® Mojito, Skinnygirl® Sweet ‘n Tart Grapefruit Margarita, Skinnygirl™ White Cherry Vodka and Skinnygirl™ Moscato – Make Their Official Debut with Celeb “Bartender” Tips Benefitting Dress for Success Download image DEERFIELD, Ill., April 19,…
Jay Z And Roc Nation Enter Into Global Music Publishing Administration Agreements With Warner/Chappell Music
JTN Music-NewsNetwork Home of The Concert Connection Were YOUR TICKET SOURCE Jay Z And Roc Nation Enter Into Global Music Publishing Administration Agreements With Warner/Chappell Music Warner/Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, today announced that it…
Al-Jazeera buys Current TV, launches push into US (via AFP)
The pan-Arab news giant Al-Jazeera bought Current TV, a struggling US cable channel, Wednesday in a deal aimed at giving the Qatar-based broadcaster the scope to challenge major American TV networks. Current, co-founded by former US vice president Al Gore, announced the sale in a statement that was…
The Twinkie That Broke The Economy’s Back? (via Market Shadows)
The Twinkie That Broke The Economy’s Back? Courtesy of Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse Can you hear that sound? It is the sound of the air being let out of the economy. Since the election, there has been a massive tsunami of layoffs and business failures. Of course the company that is making…
Entertainment industry veteran Alan Horn has been named Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective June 11.
Alan has been a prominent figure in the film and TV industry leading creative teams responsible for some of the world’s most successful entertainment properties. He most recently served as President and COO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, where he oversaw Warner Bros. Studios’ theatrical and home entertainment operations. During his 12-year tenure, the studio was the global box office leader seven times and released numerous critically acclaimed films and box office hits including the hugely successful Harry Potter series, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Happy Feet, Sherlock Holmes, The Departed, Million Dollar Baby, the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy, the second and third Matrix films and more.
Before joining Warner Bros., Alan co-founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Castle Rock Entertainment, where he oversaw the creation of the Oscar-nominated films A Few Good Men, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and When Harry Met Sally as well as the most successful show in television history, Seinfeld.
He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute, and the Museum of Broadcasting. He serves on AFI’s Board of Directors and the Autry National Center Board of Trustees in Los Angeles, is a vice chairman of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and is a co-founder of the Environmental Media Association. Alan earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force.
The couple tied the knot at a small ceremony at his Palo Alto, Calif., home.
Chan and Zuckerberg met at Harvard and have been together for more than nine years, the source shared.
Zuckerberg designed the ring featuring “a very simple ruby,” according to the person.
The ceremony took place in Zuckerberg’s backyard before fewer than 100 guests, including Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.
The guests all thought they were coming to celebrate Chan’s graduation but were told after they arrived that the event was in fact a wedding.
“Everybody was shocked,” the guest said.
Facebook’s shares were priced at $38 Thursday and got off to a hot start Friday, opening at $42.05.
The summer movie season officially kicks off with Walt Disney Pictures’ Marvel’s The Avengers on May 4th and predictions for the opening weekend are huge. Based on pre-release tracking, the movie is expected to earn over $150 million domestically on its opening weekend.That puts it in the company of record-breaking films such as The Dark Knight and the Harry Potter series.
This exciting blockbuster should make up for the John Carter debacle.
The Avengers combines several of the studio’s existing properties, including Iron Man and Captain America, which have been huge successes for the brand.
According to Bloomberg Business Week, a lot is riding on this new action flick, which is the first Marvel film Disney has marketed and distributed since buying the comic book company under former Walt Disney Chairman Rich Ross .
Disney spent an estimated $220 million producing The Avengers, it definitely looks like they are taking the necessary steps to ensure that the biggest Marvel super hero movie of ‘all time’ also gets a decent run for its money, let’s hope it’s not another crappy movie adaptation.
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The failure of “John Carter” at the box office will lead to a quarterly loss of as much as $120 million for the studio. Under Ross, Disney has reduced film production to focus on pictures from Marvel, Pixar and DreamWorks Studios.
Kids go free on festive breaks at Alton Towers
In a memo to his staff Ross said:
“For the last 15 years, I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented people on behalf of the world’s best loved brand. During that time, we’ve told some amazing stories around the world, created successful TV programming, movies, and franchises that generated new opportunities for the company in the process.
I’ve always said our success is created and driven by our people – whom I consider to be the absolute best in the business. But, the best people need to be in the right jobs, in roles they are passionate about, doing work that leverages the full range of their abilities. It’s one of the leadership lessons I’ve learned during my career, and it’s something I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to as I look at the challenges and opportunities ahead.
I believe in this extraordinary Walt Disney Studios team, and I believe in our strong slate of films and our ability to make and market them better than anyone else. But, I no longer believe the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me. For that reason, I have made the very difficult decision to step down as Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective today.
It has been my honor to work with such incredible teams – at Disney Channels Worldwide and The Walt Disney Studios and the many other Disney businesses I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with. I know I leave the Studios in good hands and, even on separate paths, I am confident we are all destined for continued success.”
“Rich Ross’s creative instincts, business acumen and personal integrity have driven results in key businesses for Disney, redefining success in kids and family entertainment and launching franchises that generate value across our entire company,” Iger said. “I appreciate his countless contributions throughout his entire career at Disney, and expect he will have tremendous success in whatever he chooses to do next.”
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.
In a letter to shareholders, Buffett, 81, said that he had been diagnosed with stage I prostate cancer.
“The good news is that I’ve been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way,” Buffett said in the letter.
The savvy investor will begin a two-month treatment of daily radiation in mid-July. He said his travel will be restricted during that time but it will not otherwise change his daily routine.
“I will let shareholders know immediately should my health situation change. Eventually, of course, it will; but I believe that day is a long way off,” he said.
Most recently, actor Ryan O’neal has came out and announced he has stage 4 prostate cancer.
Facebook has acquired Instagram, the popular photo-sharing application, for about $1 billion in cash and stock, the company said Monday. In a Facebook post on a profile page, the company’s chief, Mark Zuckerberg, said he planned to build Instagram independently from the social network. The move will allow users to post on other social networks, follow users not on Facebook, and to opt out of sharing on Facebook.
“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote. “Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”
Here is the news release from Facebook:
“Facebook announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Instagram, a fun, popular photo-sharing app for mobile devices.
“The total consideration for San Francisco-based Instagram is approximately $1 billion in a combination of cash and shares of Facebook. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this quarter.”