Beyoncé may have one of the most passionate and loyal fanbases around, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have detractors. Thankfully, she has her mom, Tina Lawson, to help her stand her ground against critics.
After announcing her new project, Black Is King, late last month, most people rejoiced at the thought of a new Queen Bey Project. Unfortunately, there were some people with criticisms, which caused Beyoncé’s mom to speak out on her daughter’s behalf.
After releasing the trailer for Black Is King, which appears to be a sort of “visual album” based on her 2019 soundtrack to the live-action The Lion King remake, some social media users began sharing their criticisms of Beyoncé. Some of the criticism was centered around Beyoncé’s use of African imagery despite the fact she has never officially toured Africa and, according to some, has not worked with enough collaborators who are actually African. In short, the criticisms boiled down to appropriation and exploiting an unfair system for profit.
Social Media Users Criticize Beyoncé
Here is a sampling of some of the criticisms users tweeted after Black Is King was announced.
The criticism seemed to reach its peak when rapper and activist Noname chimed in, referring specifically to the Black Is King trailer. “the idea that blk americans are only legitimate human subjects because we are descendants of ‘kings and queens’ is ahistorical and continues to push capitalist logic,” Noname said in a tweet addressing the issue. “most africans werent royalty and thats ok. beyonce is great but she got rich from a system that exploits the many.”
Beyoncé’s Mom, Tina Lawson, Issues Statements About Bey’s Latest Critics
In one of several Instagram posts on the topic she has made since criticism began bubbling up, Beyoncé’s mom, Tina Lawson, spoke out in defense of her daughter.
“t’s really sad that the women who shout the loudest ‘protect the black woman’ that they are the ones that are trying to tear her down,” Lawson begins her caption, which is included on a screenshot of a tweet that also speaks in defense of Bey.
“Sisters wake up!!!! Beyonce was taught from a little girl to lift other women up not to tear them down. She minds her own business, does not criticize anyone, Gives of her time and money, and dedicates her art to Boldly show the Royalty and beauty of our heritage and journey! Her work is to change the narrative! To show that we did not start off as slaves, but that we were kings and queens before we were forced into slavery. Don’t you want to see something that shows that! Aren’t you sick and tired Of seeing us as slaves!”
Lawson goes on to argue that Beyoncé employs African and African-American people and has generally been a trailblazer when it comes to fighting for representation within the music, film, and fashion industries. She then encourages detractors to spend the time they’re spending critiquing Beyoncé to fighting the oppressive systems and racism that is occupying much of American’s attention at the moment.
“Stop being a social media terrorist to the wrong people! Redirect that passion for change in that!!!,” she continues. “Use your energy and great intelligence to fight people who choose to be oppressors. Beyonce is not your enemy!! But you would swear that she was! I love what this post said which is the honest to God truth.”
In separate posts also shared to her Instagram, Lawson also refuted that Beyoncé does not work with African collaborators on her music and projects. She also claims that Beyoncé makes less money on her more political/race-conscious projects, such as Lemonade, and that therefore the argument that she is “capitalizing” on anything is invalid.
She also encouraged critics to make their own movie if they are displeased with Beyoncé’s. There’s always that option, yes.
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.
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