A plan by Jay-Z’s clothing line Rocawear to release a new line of T-shirts with the slogan, “Occupy All Streets” may have been derailed by controversy.
The shirts, which were listed as selling for $22, were slated to go on sale Friday, but have been pulled from the website. This amid complaints that Rocawear was attempting to profit from the Occupy Wall Street protests which have spread around the country.
Prior to the shirts being pulled from the website, Rocawear released a statement which confirmed that Jay-Z did not plan to donate proceeds from the T-shirt sales to the movement.
“The ‘Occupy All Streets’ T-shirt was created in support of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement,” the statement read. “Rocawear strongly encourages all forms of constructive expression, whether it be artistic, political or social. ‘Occupy All Streets’ is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street. At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement.”
Critics quickly slammed the millionaire rapper for cashing in on the momentum of the movement without promising to give a dime of the profits to the 99 percent.
A member of the Occupy Wall Street movement, who goes by the name of Grim, was harsh in his criticism of Jay-Z, telling TMZ: “Jay-Z, as talented as he is, has the political sensibility of a hood rat and is a scrotum. To attempt to profit off of the first important social moment of 50 years with an overpriced piece of cotton is an insult to the fight for economic civil rights known as ‘Occupy Wall Street’.”
Occupy Wall Street spokesman Patrick Bruner was quoted as saying in response to news of the new t-shirts: “Naturally there will be some bloodsuckers who come out of the woodwork.”
Russell Simmons showed his support for the T-shirt venture by tweeting a picture of himself alongside Jay-Z wearing one of the shirts backstage at a recent concert.
It is unclear whether Jay-Z will move forward with the sales of the controversial shirts.
Yesterday Simmons tweeted “It wouldn’t be wise to bet against the kid, Jay-Z.”