Jay-Z’s Occupy Wall Street Shirts No Longer For Sale
Is Jay-Z part of the 1%? He’s not a Wall Streeter or a big time banker but ask some of the Occupy protesters today and they likely would lump him in with them.
The rapper turned big time music mogul turned Mr. Beyonce had been selling shirts on his Rocawear website that stylistically edited the words “Occupy Wall Street” to actually say “Occupy All Streets”. Then, people started finding out that none of the $22 from each shirt sold was going toward the Occupy movement. Needless to say, more than a few people close to the protests were not happy that what they were doing was being sold for profit. As E! Online reports, today, Jay-Z seems to have had a change of heart as the shirts have disappeared from the site.
While some of the protesters voiced their displeasure, Rocawear and Russell Simmons both made statements that put the shirt in a more positive light. Rocawear stated that the shirt was made to support Occupy Wall Street (but not give it money, apparently). As the rep noted, the shirt reminds us “that there is change to be made everywhere”. Simmons tweeted that by creating and wearing the shirt (pictured), Jay-Z took the Occupy movement to “the next level”.
Just like the story about trademarking the “Occupy Wall Street” name, it seems to me that any attempt to make money off of the protesters completely flies in the face of what they’re standing for. Did Jay-Z bring the Occupy movement to the next level? Sure, he might have made it “cool” for other people to get in on it with the shirt design, but if he’s referring to increased exposure for the movement, I think they have more than enough of that.