At the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday night, national treasure Beyoncé performed a portion of her new song “Formation.”
Most people enjoyed this performance. A group of right-wingers on the internet, however, are reacting with horror and outrage to Beyoncé’s halftime performance.
Among the offenses they list: Beyoncé gave a Black Power salute onstage; her dancers were dressed in costumes that honored the Black Panthers; and the music video for “Formation” protests the government’s slow response to Hurricane Katrina, offers support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and draws attention to the largely unprosecuted killing of black men by police in America.
All of this, taken together, caused a freakout.
“Something HORRIBLE was noticed about Beyoncé’s halftime song!” right-wing website Political Insider moaned, piecing together the evidence. “[The] song is a tribute to the radical Black Lives Movement [sic]…The screen is covered with the words “Stop Shooting Us” and shows black children wearing hoodies. Pathetic!”
A survey of headlines across the conservative internet shows broad agreement. “Beyonce’s Song ‘Formation’ a Big Wet Kiss to Black Lives Matter,” Breitbart declared. “Beyonce NFL Halftime Show Targets Cops, Whites in BLM Style Attacks, Constitution Rising complained.
“GROSS!” conservative site The Gateway Pundit agreed in its headline. “Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance Was a Racist Political Statement In Support of Marxist Cop Killers.” That writer also bemoaned the lack of diversity in Beyoncé’s cohort, as seen here:
Mainstream conservatives have added their displeasure as well. Sheriffs watching the game in Washington D.C. apparently muted their televisions and turned away from their screens when Beyoncé’s performance began, per the Washington Examiner. According to Salon, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani described the performance as “ridiculous” and “outrageous” on Fox News morning show Fox & Friends:
“I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers,” Giuliani said, “who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive.”
Most viewers, however, seemed to appreciate the performance. As my esteemed colleague Kelsey McKinney wrote in the minute following halftime, “Bruno Mars and Beyoncé Knowles Carter killed it.”