RZA writes letter supporting NYC fur ban
Wu-Tang clan member RZA has come out in support of NYC's proposed fur ban. The vegan rapper sent an open letter to NYC City Council members, including Ydanis Rodriguez, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino/a, & Asian Caucus, asking them to "please help NYC move into the future of fashion by becoming a cosponsor of the bill to ban fur sales":
Dear Council Member Rodriguez,
I am writing to ask that you support Speaker Johnson’s bill to ban fur sales in New York City. I am Brooklyn-born but have had deep ties to all five boroughs since my earliest days with Wu-Tang Clan. Though it may be argued by some that fur used to show elite status in our community because of the inequality we face in society, those days are done. That’s reflected in a poll that shows 77% of black NYC voters support the bill. Those who have expressed that animals must die by the dozens to demonstrate that we have “made it” only show arrogance and represent regressive—not progressive—attitudes. I don’t just say this as an entrepreneur with a line of vegan clothing. Please help NYC move into the future of fashion by becoming a cosponsor of the bill to ban fur sales.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson introduced the bill, which is co-sponsored by Councilmen Mark Levine and Fernando Cabrera, and if passed it would ban the sale of new fur apparel in NYC. "In a progressive and modern city like New York, banning the sale of fur clothing and accessories is long overdue," he said. "Saying no to fur is fashionable and a symbol of progress. This proposal is about protecting animals and their unnecessary killing."
He's faced opposition on the bill, including concerns over lost jobs if it passes, and in a new statement on Thursday (5/30) said that if passed, the city would implement the ban over a period of time, rather than immediately. "In Los Angeles, when they banned the sale of fur I believe they had three years before it went into effect, which is why we would want to give it a long period of time to phase it in and do workforce training," Johnson said. "People that make fur garments have a skill set. They can make clothes. They don’t just make fur. They could make other clothes. So if we gave training for them to be able to move toward more ethical products, that would be a good thing."
There is no current set date for the fur ban to be voted on.
Meanwhile, Showtime's four-part documentary series about Wu-Tang Clan, Of Mics and Men, concludes with its final episode tonight (5/31), and you can also watch a collection of outtakes from the series. Wu-Tang also continue their tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of 36 Chambers, including a Brooklyn show at Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk on June 16 (tickets).