AceShowbiz - Beyonce Knowles may have a large number of Beyhives who will always have her back, but that doesn't mean she won't face criticism. The R&B diva has landed in hot water after she debuted a trailer for her new visual album "Black Is King".
The video in question features scenes of people donning traditional African costumes and performing some traditional dances, intercepted with footage of Beyonce performing and also some rare looks at her private moments with her family. People have since debated whether it's appropriate or not for her to use the African culture to promote her new material.
"She needs to read the room," one person, who objects to the video, reacted in an online forum. "Focus on the s**t that's going on in the country she was born in, romanticizing Africa isn't what we need right now girl." Another agreed, "Seriously, I'm glad people have caught on to this because it has always bothered me how people appropriate 'African cultures'."
Believing that the 38-year-old singer is wrong, a third person commented, "I've been saying all this will eventually backfire on her. It's clear she's out here pandering and riding a wave. People would eventually catch on. Its becoming performative at this point." Another echoed the sentiment, "It's a bad look, especially when you want to bite off the culture."
Someone else doubted that Beyonce's support of African people and African culture is genuine, noting, "Claim to love Africa but they stay spending the summer in Europe etc... From Senegal to the Seychelles plenty of beautiful places to visit. But since white people prefer the Hamptons, the South of France and Capri that’s where you will mostly find the Carters."
There were a few, however, who still defended Bey. "People are so sensitive," one person said of the critics. "This is one of the rare moments where africa is being shown in a positive light that's not just egypt or morocco. Beyonce was clearly showing the variety of african cultures not homogenizing them! They shouldn't accuse her of being ignorant just because they cant tell the difference."
Another doesn't see anything wrong with using African culture to sell music. "Honestly, I do not know why people are writing think pieces about this. Beyonce is just trying to sell her music that's it," the said person argued. "I see it for what it is a promotional and marketing tactic to push her music, just like Childish Gambino [a.k.a. Donald Glover] did with Guava Island."
Beyonce has not responded to the backlash. In a description of the upcoming visual album to be released on July 31, Disney+ said that " 'Black Is King' is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience." The network's bosses added in a statement, "The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future."