Beyoncé is finally addressing all that backlash about “Formation.”
When the song dropped, some criticized Bey almost immediately, claiming the video for her new single was aimed at criticizing the police. The video showed footage of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, as well as from the Black Lives Matter movement. Some claimed the video was a nod to the Black Panthers, a militant party established in the 1960s to defend minority communities against police brutality.
In an interview with Elle, Beyoncé finally addressed all the backlash and explained that people are seriously misinterpreting “Formation” and its video.
“I mean, I’m an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken,” she explained. “I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things.”
She continued, “If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I’m proud of what we created and I’m proud to be part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way.”
It’s not the first time Bey has explained herself after mixing her music with her politics. On her Mrs. Carter tour, she used the word “feminist” extensively in her stage designs.
“I don’t like or embrace any label. I don’t want calling myself a feminist to make it feel like that’s my one priority, over racism or sexism or anything else. I’m just exhausted by labels and tired of being boxed in,” she told Elle. “If you believe in equal rights, the same way society allows a man to express his darkness, to express his pain, to express his sexuality, to express his opinion — I feel that women have the same rights.”
She continued, “I hope I can create art that helps people heal. Art that makes people feel proud of their struggle. Everyone experiences pain, but sometimes you need to be uncomfortable to transform.”