Source: Dudley M. Brooks/The Washington Post / Getty

Brand: Cristal Champagne

Reason: When Jay Z speaks, the world listens. This was the case in 2006, when Mr. Carter accused the luxury brand of being racist due to comments made by Cristal managing director Fredric Rouzaud. Rouzaud inferred that Cristal’s association with the flashy hip-hop lifestyle could be detrimental to the brand. Jigga responded, telling the Associated Press that he viewed the comments as “racist” and will “no longer support any of their products.”


Brand: GQ

Reason: The popular men’s magazine has been known for its exclusive interviews and epic covers, but not this time. Kendrick Lamar snagged the cover of the 2013 Men Of The Year issue, but was less than pleased when the article came out. A member of Kendrick’s camp, TDE’s CEO Anthony Tiffith, released a statement to MTV News, saying that the article written by Steve Marsh put Lamar and the rest of the TDE camp in a “negative light.” Tiffith continued, saying that the article was “disrespectful” with racial “overtones.” As a result, Kendrick Lamar did not attend the GQ after party during which he was slated to perform.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Source: Robert Alexander / Getty

Brand: Home Depot

Reason: The Home Improvement company posted an offensive twitpic that stirred up a lot of controversy. The photo showed two African American drummers and a person wearing a gorilla mask seated in between them. The caption read, “Which drummer is not like the others?” The photo, which was part of a ‘College Gameday’ promotion, was quickly removed just before the retail company’s spokesman, Stephen Holmes, released a statement telling Huffington Post, “We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive,” and that they’re “closely reviewing our social media procedures to determine how this could have happened, and how to ensure it never happens again.”


Brand: Tommy Hilfiger

Reason: Rumor had it that the famed designer did an interview with The Oprah Winfrey Show revealing that if he’d known that blacks were wearing his clothes, he would have never designed them. Soon after, the designer’s representatives sent out notices trying to put an end to the myth, stating that he’d never been on Oprah’s show and that the accusations were false and defamatory. But proponents of the accusations continued to boycott Hilfiger and his designs – even after his visit to Oprah to clear up the rumors.

SOURCE: Huffington Post

Brand: Barneys

Reason: Earlier this year, 19-year-old black college student Trayon Christian went to the famous retail store to purchase a $350 Ferragamo belt. After making the purchase, just before leaving the Madison Ave NYC store, he was stopped by undercover officers who allegedly questioned how a young black boy could afford such an expensive purchase. After showing officers his ID and the receipt and being searched without consent, Christian was handcuffed and taken to the local precinct. Barneys New York recently took to their Twitter to reveal that their company has a “Zero tolerance for racial profiling.” Christian has filed a lawsuit against Barneys and the NYPD. Another young woman who was buying a Celine purse claimed something similar happened to her. 

SOURCE: Huffington Post

Brand: Fox News

Reason: The news channel has been accused of racism since the station debuted. With popular on-air personalities such as the always outspoken Bill O’Reilly and Brian Kilmeade (who declared all terrorists Muslim), the Republican-based channel has angered not only Democrats, but everyone who doesn’t agree with their conservative views. Despite racial profiling allegations, Fox News continues to deliver Republican-biased stories.

Brand: Abercrombie & Fitch

Reason: In early 2012, a counterfeit website reportedly registered in China caused major controversy for the name brand clothing line by selling ‘N**ger Brown Trousers.’ The fake site dawns an exact resemblance to Abercrombie & Fitch’s real website, leading customers to believe that it was the actual website to purchase A&F clothing. The faux website has since been shut down after a spokesman for the brand told TMZ, “We do not condone racial language. This is a counterfeit website and we have initiated legal proceedings to shut it down.”


Brand: Adidas

Reason: After the 2012 release of the Roundhouse Mid Handcuffs by Jeremy Scott, Adidas has come under fire for what is said to be an insensitive creation by the brand. The Mid Handcuffs, which have semi-gold shackles attached to the back, were revealed on the brand’s Facebook page last year with the caption, “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles.” Soon after the release and the criticism that followed, an Adidas spokesman released a statement to the Hollywood Reporter saying, “The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery.”


Brand: Volkswagen

Reason: Since the debut of their 2013 Super Bowl commercial, Volkswagen has been hit with racial profiling allegations. The ad showcased a seemingly happy white guy, who is overjoyed by his new Volkswagen, trying to cheer up his co-workers while speaking in a Jamaican accent. After the commercial aired, many folks were rubbed the wrong way, including Barbara Lippert, editor-at-large of, who told The Today Show, “Didn’t anyone look at this…this is so racist.” Volkswagen Executive vice president Tim Mahoney defended the ad, telling the Daily Mail, “We obviously did our homework to make sure that we weren’t offensive.” The ad went on to become one of the most watched on YouTube.

SOURCE: Huffington Post


Brand: Mountain Dew

Reason: In early 2013, PepsiCo, who owns Mountain Dew, pulled their latest ad, which critics called arguably the most racist ad in commercial history. The Mountain Dew commercial, created by Odd Future co-founder Tyler, the Creator, showcased an extremely beaten woman pointing out her abuser in a police line-up of only black men, and a goat. “Mountain Dew has set a new low for corporate racism, portraying black men in the most negative light,” said Syracuse professor Dr. Boyce Watkins. Pepsi responded by releasing a statement to AdWeek, “We understand how this video could be perceived by some as offensive, and we apologize to those who were offended.” The video has since been completely removed.



Not Cool: 10 Brands & Companies Accused Of Racial Profiling  was originally published on

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