- (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
Harry Belafonte, the 86-year-old entertainer and activist, wants to meet with rap mogul Jay Z after the recording artist and businessman criticized him for speaking about the lack of social responsibility amongst today's celebrities.
"...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," Belafonte told MSNBC. "And lets understand each other rather than try to answer these questions and these nuances in a public place."
Belafonte's comments come after Shawn "Jay Z" Carter spoke out against him addressing the rapper's lack of social responsibility in a public forum.
"I'm offended by that because first of all, this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am, [is charity], just like Obama is," Jay Z told Rap Radar's Elliot Wilson recently. "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."
Belafonte's initial comments about Jay Z and his wife and singer Beyonce spoke about the power of celebrities.
"It is sad. And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities," Belafonte told The Hollywood Reporter last year. "But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example."
However, Belafonte insisted that he did not mean to make a personal attack against Jay Z.
"…I would hope with all my heart that Jay Z would not take personally what was said because it was not said about him personally," he told MSNBC. "My heart is filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one on one and let's understand each other…"