Activist Shaun King’s private clothing brand, A Real One, has been accused of scamming customers after many took to Twitter and Instagram wondering why they have not yet received their orders eight months after the company’s launch.
King, who rose into the public eye at the start of the Black Lives Matter movement, started a private clothing brand that launched in September of 2021. The clothing, King advertised on his Instagram, is “100 percent organic. Black-owned from the seed to the shipping and everything in between. Deeply purposeful.”
King told Newsweek in an email that the accusations of the clothing line being a scam are not true. His statement:
“This is a complete fabrication.
1. We had nearly 3,500 orders and shipped EVERY order. All of them. Some 2-3 times. Out of those 3,500 orders about 150 people moved, or had shipping problems. For those 150 people, we resent the orders or processed refunds.
2. We just emailed our entire customer base to ask ANY customer that might have fallen through the cracks to email us. 2 people replied saying they wanted exchanges or refunds for orders they had trouble with. 2.
Out of those 3,500 we also had 75-100 customers who had errors in their email addresses or phone numbers that may be hard for us to reach.
When we then run those potential customers with errors up against all of the orders that were delivered we don’t see a single customer left with a contact info error that hasn’t received their order.
Still, we are standing by to help any customer that has a single issue or problem.”
A Real One’s website advertises T-shirts and hoodies that come in a select few colors and designs, one of which depicts a photo of King smoking a joint on the front. The hoodies with that specific design are sold for $165.
The products are advertised as “100 percent organic cotton that is harvested by Black farmers then produced and manufactured in Africa. The printing for this hoodie is done exclusively by Black-owned print shops in the United States.”
However, people on Twitter have begun accusing the brand of being a scam after a number of people posted that they had yet to receive their orders.
TV personality and comedian Ashley Ray wrote, “hello, it has been 8 months since shaun king launched a ‘private clothing line’ that sold $165 hoodies, there hasn’t been an update since October, the entire Instagram has been deleted and the last existing comments were people saying they still hadnt gotten their orders.”
Ray went on to discover that the Instagram account for the brand was still active, but had reportedly blocked her from viewing the account.
“lmaooo shaun king really blocked me on instagram on his main acct and all his scam side hustle accts, that’s so thorough,” Ray wrote.
While several users commented that they had received their items, many others claimed they hadn’t.
The A Real One Instagram account has several instances where customers have asked for updates on their orders. One user wrote, “how do I get an update on my order? it never shipped and nobody is responding to any of my emails.”
Another commented, “What a mess. It’s EXTREMELY unnerving to go through this. This is not good. I sent my sweatshirt back for an exchange weeks ago and I have heard NOTHING.”
One user tweeted, “I really don’t know why anyone would fall for a Shaun King scam in 2022 bc he’s been exposed for scamming for literally years. But in case you haven’t heard it already, he’s a scammer and not doing any actual work.”
King has turned into somewhat of a controversial figure over the last several years after denying allegations that he mismanaged funds from charity projects that he helped set up.
In 2021, Samaria Rice, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was shot and killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio in November 2014, called King out for attempting to raise money in her son’s name without the family’s consent.
“As a white man acting black you are an imposter that can not be trusted. My son was 12 years old and… DOJ needs to reopen his case period. Tamir Human rights was violated, why would you so ever make it about you? you are a selfish self centered person and God will deal with you White man,” Rice wrote last year.
King also recently criticized Elon Musk for purchasing Twitter, stating that Musk’s purchase was only about “white power.”
Update 5/12/22, 4:30 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with the complete statement from King.