Jay-Z says he and his wife, Beyoncé, were not protesting during the Super Bowl's national anthem protests despite social media outcry claiming otherwise.
The artist, his wife, and their 8-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, were pictured seated during performer Demi Lovato's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Social media outrage followed after photos of the two in their seats went viral.
What are the details?
Jay-Z, who's real name is Shawn Carter, told a crowd at Columbia University that any interpretation of the couple's sitting as a protest was flat-out wrong.
"It actually wasn't [a protest]," he said. "Sorry. It really wasn't."
TMZ shared video of Carter's remarks on Tuesday.
Carter, whose production company Roc Nation has a partnership with the NFL, said that sitting "was not premeditated at all." He said he and his wife were instead focused on the performance itself from a technical aspect as Roc Nation was in charge of producing the Super Bowl halftime show.
"So, we get there, and we immediately jump into artist mode," he explained. "So, I'm looking at the show. 'Did our mic start? Was it too low to start?' ... 'Is it too many speakers on the floor?'"
He added, "[T]he whole time we're sitting there and we're talking about the performance."
Carter insisted that he would never place his daughter in any "position" of being a part of protest.
Carter said that the halftime show — which featured superstar Latina performers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira — was "the biggest, loudest protest of all."
"Given the context, I didn't have to make a silent protest," he added.