While millions were blown away by Beyoncé’s scene-stealing performance of “Formation” at Super Bowl 50, not everyone was pleased by the show. Some pundits criticized the singer for using halftime “as a platform to attack police officers,” as former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani loudly complained to Fox News on Monday. Thankfully, The Daily Show‘s Jessica Williams, their “Senior Beyoncé Correspondent,” was brought in to set the haters straight and defend the singer’s empowering performance.
“There was so much in this video about black female empowerment,” Williams said of the surprise “Formation” video. “But it’s not just about self-love: She calls out police brutality and the constant fear that black people have of the police … The black girl magic in that video was out of control. She was like a beautiful black Dumbledore, but wearing a really nice weave and $3,000 worth of Gucci.”
However, it was the halftime performance – with its Black Panthers-inspired outfits and gestures and an on-field formation of “X” to pay tribute to Malcolm X – that had conservative talking heads complaining that Beyoncé injected race into the Super Bowl.
“Race was brought in because Beyoncé was brought in and, brace yourself, you might want to sit down for this, but Beyoncé is … black,” Williams said. “And as a black person, you walk around every day constantly reminded that you are black. We’re more likely to get paid less, more likely to get sent to prison and more likely to win a dance competition. What? It’s not all bad.”
Williams also took aim at Giuliani’s claims that Beyoncé’s halftime performance wasn’t “wholesome” enough for middle America. “Are you saying you can’t talk about race issues to middle America? What are they, so delicate and unaware and maybe so white that Beyoncé is too much for them? You know what’s in the middle of middle America? Ferguson, Missouri,” Williams said. “I am so sorry that this wasn’t wholesome enough for you. I didn’t realize that singing about race was the equivalent to Janet Jackson getting her titty pulled out at the Super Bowl.”
In other Beyoncé news, as evidence of the Beyhive’s power, Red Lobster’s sales are up 33 percent since Beyoncé memorably name-checked the restaurant chain in “Formation,” CNN reports.