While at the Sundance Film Festival promoting his film on Kalief Browder, Jay Z was asked a Donald Trump question. Here’s how he reacted.
The setting was one you rarely see with Jay these days. He was on the ground, surrounded by people, talking questions from the press. Jigga was there to talk about the documentary he just executive produced, Time: The Kalief Browder Story. A film about the unfortunate events that led to Browder spending three years of his life on in the Rikers Island jail for a crime he did not commit, and then committing suicide just two years after he was finally released.
After taking a few moments to talk about the project, he made it known that that was all he was there to talk about, nothing else.
So when a reporter tried to slip in a question about Donald Trump becoming President, it was “grand opening, grand closing” for the small press conference.
It seems almost as if as soon as he heard the name, Jay shut down and told the reporter “I’m not answering that.” After the failed query, Jay’s new film partner Harvey Weinstein stepped in and informed the crowd that the film was a “labor of love” for Jay and people shouldn’t waste his time asking about Trump.
Which isn’t all the way fair. Sure, the reporter may have just been trying to get a soundbite for the internet to devour. But asking a Trump question in this space isn’t out of the park. Trump has repeatedly said that he will install “law and order” during his Presidency and has supported legalizing the same “stop and frisk” police methods that landed Browder in jail unjustly. Plus, he put his neck out there performing for Hillary Clinton’s “Black people, please vote for me concert” saying that Trump was “divisive” and “cannot be my President.” Even then he didn’t refer to him by name, only calling him “the other guy.”
This could have been an opportunity for Jay to say something that made sense without just sounding like another person mad that Trump won.