Oprah Winfrey Speaks On Drama Between Her Friends Harry Belafonte And Jay Z

August 9, 2013  |  

If you haven’t been keeping up, acting legend and activist Harry Belafonte has found himself caught up in a slight beef (if you want to call it that) with Jay Z. It all started when Belafonte said last year that he felt Beyoncé and Jay Z had turned their back on social responsibility, which is important for celebrities with major influence to care about because they can use it for greater things:

“…I think 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.”
Jay finally responded to Belafonte’s comment last month, and it’s clear he wasn’t too pleased. Maybe that’s why he dropped something of a diss line about Belafonte in his song “Nickels and Dimes” off of Magna Carta Holy Grail:

“I’m offended by that because first of all, this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am, just like Obama is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, that hope that he provides for a nation and outside of America is enough. Just being who he is…I felt like Belafonte just went about it wrong. The way he did it, within the media, and then he bigged up Bruce Springsteen. It was like, ‘Whoa, you just sent the wrong message all around. You just bigged up the white guy against me in the white media.’ I’m not saying that in a racial way. I’m saying what it was just the wrong way to go about it.  My presence is charity! Just this guy who came from Marcy projects apartment 530C, to these places of me playing in Yankee stadium tonight.”

Well, surprisingly, in an interview with Urban Daily this week, Oprah was asked what she thought about the men going back and forth and if she’d ever have them sit down on Oprah’s Next Chapter to talk things out, which Belafonte said he wouldn’t mind doing. Here’s what she had to say:
“I’m offended by that because first of all, this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am, just like Obama is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, that hope that he provides for a nation and outside of America is enough. 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 [Obama] to do better, but I felt like Belafonte just went about it wrong. The way he did it, within the media, and then he bigged up Bruce Springsteen. It was like, ‘Whoa, you just sent the wrong message all around. You just bigged up the white guy against me in the white media.’ I’m not saying that in a racial way. I’m saying what it was just the wrong way to go about it.  My presence is charity! Just this guy who came from Marcy projects apartment 530C, to these places of me playing in Yankee stadium tonight.” – See more at: https://madamenoire.com/287973/jay-z-responds-to-criticism-from-harry-belafonte-and-says-my-presence-is-charity/#sthash.fVTNwvDd.dpuf
“I’m offended by that because first of all, this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am, just like Obama is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, that hope that he provides for a nation and outside of America is enough. 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 [Obama] to do better, but I felt like Belafonte just went about it wrong. The way he did it, within the media, and then he bigged up Bruce Springsteen. It was like, ‘Whoa, you just sent the wrong message all around. You just bigged up the white guy against me in the white media.’ I’m not saying that in a racial way. I’m saying what it was just the wrong way to go about it.  My presence is charity! Just this guy who came from Marcy projects apartment 530C, to these places of me playing in Yankee stadium tonight.” – See more at: https://madamenoire.com/287973/jay-z-responds-to-criticism-from-harry-belafonte-and-says-my-presence-is-charity/#sthash.fVTNwvDd.dpuf

“Oh wouldn’t that be a great show? That’s an “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”

So who’s right, Harry Belafonte or Jay-Z? Both are right. For Harry Belafonte’s day and his way of operating in the world and what was necessary in the marches and protests, and his way of warring and protesting. His warrior, that was necessary for that time. Jay-Z, does this through his music, his work and his art. Also necessary. Both are right.”

Interesting point. What do you think?

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