They were promoting “TIME: The Kalief Browder Story.”
Earlier this week, Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein hosted a town hall meeting to discuss the current state of criminal and to discuss reform. The two business moguls (Weinstein is a prominent Hollywood producer) were promoting their co-produced Spike TV documentary TIME: The Kalief Browder Story.
The show, which had just aired its second episode, is about a 16 kid from the Bronx who was wrongfully arrested for stealing a backpack and spent three years on Rikers Island before the case was dismissed. Browder committed suicide in 2015 and his mother died of a heart attack a year later, after work on the documentary had already begun.
“His death is here to teach us to save a generation of kids,” Jay Z declared at the panel, “It’s hard to watch, but important to see.” Jigga met Browder before he took his own life, making this an especially personal story for him to tell. Weinstein praised the late Kalief Browder calling him “a hero.”
Jay Z concluded, “you have to watch this and then walk into your child’s room and just look at them.” He also implored the audience to use the power of their votes: “We put people in office; we make the laws. These government officials? They work for us. They speak to us like we work for them, but we are the power. Three million people watch the the first week; we need it to be 20. WE need everyone to be talking about this. That’s how it stops.”
If only everyone had Jay Z’s optimism.