News: Harry Belafonte Wants Face-Off W/ Jay Z & Beyoncé After Tense Hov Comments

Monday, Jul 29, 2013 10:56AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Political activist Harry Belafonte has responded to recent comments shot his way courtesy of rap mogul Jay Z over criticism he initially fired off to Young Hov and his wife Beyoncé Knowles-Carter last summer about lacking social responsibility.

Rather than entertain a back-and-forth debate, Belafonte said he would like a chance to see the hip-hop couple face-to-face.

"I would hope with all my heart, that Jay-Z not take personally what was said because it was not said to him personally. ...I would like to take this opportunity to say to Jay Z and Beyonce: I'm wide open, my heart is filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one-on-one to understand each other rather than trying to answer this question and answer these nuisances in a public place. I think it is not the right place for us to be having our exchanges." (MSNBC)

Recently, Jigga spoke out on staying mum despite being criticized by Belafonte last summer.

"I'm offended by that because first of all, and this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am. Just like Obama's is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, the hope that he provides for a nation, and outside of America is enough," Jay said in an interview. "Just being who he is. You're the first black president. If he speaks on any issue or anything he should be left alone... Of course we want to challenge him to do better. I felt Belafonte he just went about it wrong. Like the way he did it in the media, and then he big upped Bruce Springsteen or somebody. And it was like, 'whoa,' you just sent the wrong message all the way around...Bruce Springsteen is a great guy. You're this Civil Rights activist and you just big upped the white guy against me in the white media. And I'm not saying that in a racial way. I'm just saying what it is. The fact of what it was. And that was just the wrong way to go about it." (#FACTSONLY)

Last summer, Bey did not remain silent and responded to Harry's comments.

In response to Belafonte's words, Beyonce's representative emailed what she called "An abbreviated list of the unselfish work Beyoncé has done and continues to do." The list included co-founding The Survivor Foundation "a multi-purpose community outreach facility in downtown Houston"; donating "100K in 2008 to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund to aid Texas victims of Hurricane Ike"; performing in "MTV's Hope For Haiti Now! Benefit in addition to making a generous monetary donation," among many other charitable activities. (Wall Street Journal)

Belafonte initially singled out the music couple for their perceived lack of social responsibility.

"I think that one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyoncé for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen and now you're talking. I really think he is black." (The Hollywood Reporter)

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