Beyonce has responded to criticism she received over her recent ‘Formation’ music video, specifically accusations that the clip had an “anti-police” message.
The singer’s ‘Formation’ video was released in February and included a scene where police appear in riot gear with their hands up while a boy dances in front of them in a hoodie. The clip references the Black Lives Matter movement’s “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” mantra that followed the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Following calls from police unions to boycott the singer’s music and a failed anti-Beyoncé protest in New York, the star has now addressed the issue in an interview with Elle Magazine.
“I’m an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood,” Beyoncé is quoted as saying. “But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of the officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe.”
“But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice,” the singer added. “Those are two separate things. 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.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Beyoncé speaks about the pressures of perfectionism and about her business ventures, saying: “the world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.”