After the Miami Police union threatened to boycott Beyoncé over the apparent anti-police message of her video for Formation, the pop queen has decided to mock the whole controversy by selling her own shirts with “Boycott Beyonce” emblazoned on them. Smooth work.
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) April 27, 2016
Controversy also stemmed from Beyonce’s performance of Formation at the last Super Bowl, where her and her backup dancers were dressed in tight fitting leotards inspired by the Black Panthers, an African-American nationalist organisation founded to forcibly fight oppression, particularly police brutality in black neighbourhoods.
According to radio.com, Javier Ortiz, the president of Lodge 20 of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, announced his union had voted to boycott the opening date of the singer’s world tour (read: 24 dates in the US and Canada, 17 in Europe), although the local rag, the Miami New Times, reports that a boycott never eventuated and the event was fully staffed.
This isn’t the first time police in America have called for a protest, with Bruce Springsteen‘s song American Skin (41 Shots), about the killing of Amadou Diallo, also facing the ire of a law enforcement boycott. Body Count‘s Cop Killer also, unsurprisingly, faced a similar backlash.
In an interview with Elle, Beyonce responded verbally to the controversy, saying:
“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. 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. 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 a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way.”
The first date of Beyoncé’s world tour is happening as we speak. Find some hot new footage of the opening concert here below.
WATCH: Fresh footage from Beyonce’s Formation World Tour