Social activist Harry Belafonte criticized Jay Z and Beyonce last year, arguing that for a couple with so much influence, they have decidedly "turned their back on social responsibility."
Jay later addressed the criticism on record, responding to Belafonte on Magna Carta Holy Grail's "Nickels & Dimes". "I'm just trying to find common ground / 'fore Mr. Belafonte come and chop a nigga down / Mr. Day O, major fail / Respect these youngins boy, it's my time now / Hublot homie, two door homie / You don't know all the shit I do for the homies."
Belafonte has once again opened up the conversation on Jay and Beyonce's potential, detailing his position in a recent MSNBC interview.
“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."
The social worker explained that his comments were not meant as a personal attack.
“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,” he 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.”
Belafonte concluded by extending an invitation for a formal discussion between himself and the couple.
“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.”
Hov and Bey have yet to respond to the offer.