Beyonce Backlash: 'Race-Baiting' Act Spawns a Protest

Protest planned for Feb. 16 outside NFL's NYC headquarters
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2016 10:46 AM CST
Beyonce Backlash: 'Race-Baiting' Act Spawns a Protest
Beyonce, left, performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game on Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Red Lobster may be one of Beyonce's newest fans, but her Super Bowl halftime performance—which featured Bey and entourage dressed in Black Panther-like attire dancing in an "X" shape in tribute to Malcolm X, Time notes—is being slammed as "hate speech" and is now the subject of a protest rally outside the NFL's Manhattan headquarters, the New York Daily News reports. "Are you offended as an American that Beyonce pulled her race-baiting stunt at the Superbowl?" a promo for the Feb. 16 event reads, per the Daily News. "Do you agree that it was a slap in the face to law enforcement? Do you agree that the Black Panthers was/is a hate group which should not be glorified?" Others have piled on, like Rudy Giuliani Monday on Fox News, saying the show was "outrageous" and an "attack" on cops, the Washington Post reports.

New York Rep. Peter King tweeted that "Beyonce Formation video & #SB50 act was anti-police, shameful. Repeats big lie of Michael Brown innocence. Cops deserve support not criminals," referring to references in her new single about police brutality. But Marni Senofonte, her stylist for Sunday's show, told Essence "it was important to [Beyonce] to honor the beauty of strong Black women and celebrate the unity that fuels their power. One of the best examples of that is the image of the female Black Panther." The Independent notes a counter-protest is calling for Bey's supporters to "Get in Formation" and not "let anyone make her ... powerful statement about the value of Black life be overshadowed." Jessica Williams of The Daily Show also shut critics down, notes Mashable, saying of Giuliani's claim that halftime should cater to "Middle America," "You know what's in the middle of America? Ferguson, Missouri." (Bey still ruled the weekend, though.)

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