On Sunday, TMZ posted a video of Beyoncé, Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy sitting during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Those who saw the video took their sitting as some kind political statement. However, in a discussion at Columbia University on Tuesday, Jay-Z set the record straight on why he and Beyoncé were seated during the Anthem. I guess TMZ didn’t notice the other spectators seated around Jay-Z and Beyoncé.
“It actually wasn’t (a political statement). Sorry,” he said as the audience laughed. “It really wasn’t. What happened was it was not premeditated at all.”
He said he would never put his young daughter in the position of being part of a protest.
“TMZ can tell you anything without speaking to me,” he said. “If it was me, I’d say, ‘Yes, that’s what I’ve done.’ I think people know that about me.”
Jay-Z explained that they arrived just as gospel singer Yolanda Adams was about to perform “America the Beautiful” and, as co-producer of the halftime show, he immediately jumped into “artist mode,” making last-minute sound adjustments and commenting on the performance to his wife.
“The whole time we’re sitting there, we’re talking about the performance,” he explained. “Then right after that, Demi (Lovato) comes out and we’re talking about how beautiful she looked and how she sounds and what she’s going through in her life and to be on the stage, we’re so proud of her. It just happened,” he concluded, noting that his team had already made efforts to make political stances at the Super Bowl. “We were making the loudest sound. I didn’t have to make a silent protest. When you look at the stage, the artists that we chose: Looking at Colombian (Shakira), Puerto Rican JLo.”
“We were making the biggest, loudest protest of all,” Jay-Z said. “Given the context, I didn’t have to make a silent protest.”