Beyoncé’s Rep Rubbishes Allegations Of Stolen Footage In ‘Formation’ Music Video

While Beyoncé is no stranger to surprises (like casually dropping albums, songs and even tour announcements whilst simultaneously stealing the show from certain top billed headliners), we don’t think Queen Bey was expecting to cop flak for her latest out-of-the-blue music video release, Formation.

An LA-based filmmaker has accused the singer and Formation director Melina Matsoukas of robbing footage from New Orleans bounce music documentary, That B.E.A.T, without proper licensing and attribution, following the release of Beyonce’s powerful clip over the weekend.

Produced by Chris Black and directed by Abteen Bagheri, both parties have unleashed on social media, with Black claiming, “It’s flattering that people fuck with the things you’ve created but also frustrating when they wanna use it like it’s theirs.”

While Black’s Twitter tirade was definitely heard, the accusations were fought against by Bey’s rep. “The documentary footage was used with permission and licensed from the owner of the footage,” they told Entertainment Weekly.

“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 .”


According to Mashable, Black was contacted by Mairzy Doats Productions’ Lily Keber a week ago about using the footage in “an undisclosed artist’s music video”. That being said, Black doesn’t actually own the footage as it was commissioned by Nokia and Sundance, but still believes he deserved some acknowledgement.

“We don’t mind our work being shared or celebrated, but we put a lot of work into it and we just wanted credit,” Black told Mashable.

Matsoukas tweeted following the uproar, thanking Bagheri and Keber for making the music vid “whole”, however, Black told Mashable it was a case of too little too late. “It feels a little too late and slightly insincere. Would she have given us the credit had I not said anything?”

Interesting, famed photographer Dave LaChapelle sued Matsoukas in 2011, accusing the director of stealing concepts from his photos for Rihanna’s S&M music video. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.

See the video for Formation below, then head here to watch Beyoncé steal the show from Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson in the Super Bowl halftime spectacular.

Watch: Beyonce – Formation

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