Jay-Z’s “Occupy Wall Street” Shirts Not Putting Protestors in an Empire State of Mind
I wrote a rant a few days ago over on my Tumblr about how I was afraid of the Occupy Wall Street movement being commodified by major marketers and sold as a fad rather than recognized as a very real and very powerful political movement. I was sure that the people behind such a thing would be MTV or Urban Outfitters or Hot Topic.
I was a little off.
Friday, Jay-Z’s clothing company RocaWear released a shirt design that took “Occupy Wall Street” and crossed out the W and added an S to make it “Occupy All Streets.” It’s an awesome message and it was great to see the hip-hop mogul and member of the 1% (Jay’s net worth is listed at $450 Million) stand in solidarity with the OWS movement and their fight against corporate greed.
Except. Well. RocaWear wasn’t donating any of the profits to the OWS movement. And they issued a statement saying as much.
The ‘Occupy All Streets’ T shirt was created in support of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement. 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.
Instead, they were taking the movement, putting it on a t-shirt, and selling it for their own profits. But claiming they were in support of a movement which is in opposition to putting profits over people and their needs.
Surprisingly, this really pissed people off.
The shirts have now been removed from the RocaWear site, without statement from Jay-Z or someone on his behalf.