Beyoncé is cutting ties with Philip Green, the embattled British billionaire with whom she partnered for her sportswear line Ivy Park, after he was accused in the U.K. of a series of sexual harassment and racial abuse charges.
The singer’s company, Parkwood Entertainment, said in a statement on Thursday that it has acquired 100 percent of the athleisure clothing line.
Beyoncé and Green teamed up in 2014 to develop the brand, which includes leggings, sports bras and hoodies, and features the singer in its ads and promotional campaigns. The clothing range went on sale in 2016 at Green’s Topshop retail chain to much fanfare.
Claims that Green acted inappropriately emerged last month when the Labour peer, Lord Hain, revealed that the businessman had obtained an interim injunction against the Daily Telegraph after the newspaper attempted to publish allegations of misconduct made by five employees. The billionaire has strongly denied the allegations of sexual harassment and racist abuse, saying any remarks had been “banter”. He has insisted that “there was never any intent to be offensive”.
Current and former employees of his Arcadia Group have alleged a climate of fear, bullying and harassment at the company. The Guardian reported that several employees were given enormous seven-figure secret payouts to settle their claims.
Beyoncé has been under pressure to cut her multimillion-dollar ties with Green since the allegations were exposed; the “Independent Woman” singer is seen by many of her fans as a role model for girl power and is known for taking a stand against injustice.
“Beyoncé has put herself forward as a women’s rights activist,” Yasmeen Hassan, global executive director of human rights group Equality Now told the Times last month. “She and her team need to look closely at these allegations.”
Her decision to ditch Green was applauded by fans who said “You go, girl.”
— 😈🚀 (@NewKhaos) November 15, 2018
Over the last few weeks, there have been calls for Green’s celebrity friends and business partners to speak up about his alleged behavior. Simon Cowell bought out Green’s stake in Syco Entertainment and said he was putting “principle” before profit, according to an interview with The Sun.
Shoppers are also taking a stand. The hashtag #PinkNotGreen has gone viral on Twitter to promote a boycott of the stores, including Topshop, that are owned by Green’s Arcadia Group. However, some customers shared their concern that shunning Green’s businesses may only hurt the lower-paid employees and not Green, who reportedly commutes to London by private jet from his home in Monaco.