Renowned social activist Harry Belafonte is hoping to resolve his issues with JAY Z and Beyoncé by inviting the superstar couple for a one-on-one sit down, in which they can perhaps address their differences and reach some common ground.
The icon recently rubbed Mr Carter up the wrong way with a remark reportedly claiming that the rapper and his wife have turned their back on social responsibility and could be utilising their celebrity status more effectively. Jay then responded via his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, and also went into more depth about why Harry’s comment had offended him during a #FactsOnly interview with Elliott Wilson last week.
“Belafonte went about the wrong way. The way he did it within the media and then he bigged-up Bruce Springsteen. It was like woo, you just sent the wrong message like all around…” Jay told Elliott.
Now, Belafonte – who is currently protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case – has attempted to clear the air by explaining what he really meant by his controversial remark.
When asked on MSNBC about whether Jay should continue touring with Justin Timberlake, Harry responded:
“I would be hard pressed to tell Mr. JAY Z what to do with this time and his fortune. All I can be critical is of what he is not doing. This conflict that is emerging was not from me as a direct attack on Jay-Z or Beyonce. I was at a press conference in Switzerland. Questions were raised by the international press. They asked about the artists and the social engagement of the past based on a film we were watching…and how artists responded earlier in my life and how they responded today.
“And I made the observation that the highly powerful voice that our community has – Black America has – there is so much celebrity power that it was sad to see that the collective of the celebrity power had not been applied to bring consciousness to the inequities that we face,” Belafonte said. “Artist that heard that responded in a very strong way. You’ll find that Jamie Foxx, you’ll find Chuck D [of Public Enemy]…you find that any number of highly profiled people have taken that critique and called for [a meeting]. We’ve sat. We’ve talked. And I will tell you now that these people that I’ve just mentioned are officially behind Dream Defenders. They are prepared to come down. They are prepared to perform. I would hope that Jay-Z would not take personally what was said because it was not said about him personally.”
He then extended an invitation to Jay and Bey, with hopes that the trio can sit down privately and talk things through.
“Having said that, I would like to say to Jay-Z, to Beyonce: My heart is wide open and filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one-on-one. And lets understand each other rather than try to answer these questions and these nuances in a public place.”
Watch the full interview below and skip to the 11 minute mark to watch the section JAY Z and Beyonce.
Coincidentally, the MCHG rapper and Beyoncé recently attended a Trayvon Martin protest rally in New York.