Beyoncé responds to plagiarism claims over ‘Formation’ video

Filmmakers alleged the singer had used clips without permission

Beyonce has responded to claims by two filmmakers that she used footage from a documentary they made in her new ‘Formation’ music video without their permission.

‘Formation’ was released on Saturday, with its video shot in both Los Angeles and New Orleans.

Following the video’s premiere online, filmmaker Chris Black and directed by Abteen Bagheri took to Twitter to claim that the clip included footage from their 2014 documentary about New Orleans called That B.E.A.T.

Black wrote: “New Beyonce video used hella clips from the doc I produced and directed by @abteen …but why?!?!”

Bagheri added: “I’m not mad. It’s the sad reality of the music business. Doesn’t affect my friends’ and my work, but not cool.”

Following the allegations, Beyonce’s representatives issued a statement to The Fader claiming that they did indeed have permission to use the footage.

The statement reads: “The documentary footage was used with permission and licensed from the owner of the footage. They were given proper compensation. The footage was provided to us by the filmmaker’s production company. The filmmaker is listed in the credits for additional photography direction. We are thankful that they granted us permission.”

‘Formation’ director Melina Matsoukas also thanked the filmmakers via Twitter, writing: “Must give much love to the beautiful NOLA footage shot and directed by @abteen and @lkeber to make #FORMATION whole.”

Black later told Fader that he and Bagheri had received emails from another director named Lily Keber, who documentary footage had also appeared in the ‘Formation’ video.

Black also stated that they did not own the rights to the footage as the film was commissioned by Nokia in partnership with Sundance film festival.

“I love Beyoncé,” Black added. “I still think she’s dope and I have no ill will or feelings towards her or anybody but at the end of the day we have to respect other filmmakers who are working just as hard… Why use the footage from the doc we did? She has a larger budget than we did and they gave no credit to the filmmakers. If I hadn’t said anything about this would you have known where it came from?”

Bagheri later drew a line under the dispute by telling Fader: “It seems they’ve given us credit now, which is all that was important to me.”

Watch Bagheri and Black’s documentary beneath.