Beyonce is practically feeding her critics at this point.
She came under major fire for her performance at Super Bowl 50 in February, where her dancers wore black berets to pay homage to the Black Panthers fifty years after their formation. In one scene for the music video of the song (appropriately titled “Formation”), one scene shows a young African-American man dancing in front of a line of police officers in riot gear, and the words “Stop Shooting Us” are shown sprayed in graffiti. Naturally, police weren’t too happy about the pop star characterizing them as a bunch of trigger-happy racists, and many urged boycotts on her events, whereby officers would refuse to provide security for her shows.
Beyonce must think the publicity generated by her controversial political performances is worth the blowback, because her performance at last night’s VMAs is giving her critics plenty of ammunition. As the Daily Mail reported: Beyoncé has made her second powerful statement of protest for the night during her performance at the MTV VMAs. While performing a medley of songs from her hit album, Lemonade, the pop megastar was surrounded by backup dancers dressed as angels.
However, as red lights flooded the stage, each of the ‘angels’ was shot down during the performance, which viewers said was a representation of police brutality.
‘The imagery of the Beyonce performance with the angels getting shot down…,’ one person tweeted. ‘Beyonce too deep. All the angels were shot, police brutality,’ another wrote.
It comes after the star walked the red carpet with her daughter Blue Ivy at the MTV VMAs in New York. The singer, who is due to perform at the show on Sunday night, was joined in the spotlight by mothers of gun and other violence victims Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant.
Setting aside the fact that Trayvon Martin wasn’t killed by police, in the case of Michael Brown, the shooting was justified, and in the case of Oscar Grant, the officer involved was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, so these aren’t exactly the best representatives of the problem Beyonce ostensibly wants to highlight.
That aside, I (The Analytical Economist) personally don’t think she actually cares about these issues; I think she’s a political opportunist. Back in 2010, she gave a performance at the Grammys that fetishized police in riot gear. One far-left website headlined their reporting on it, “Police State Propaganda: Beyonce Grammy Performance Glorifies Tyrannical Stormtrooper Riot Police.”
What do you all think is her motive for all this? Did she have a sudden change of heart and become anti-police overnight, or did she just realize that doing so would better appease her fans — and be better for her booming business empire?
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]