Piers Morgan on Beyonce's 'Lemonade': "It Smacks of Shameless Exploitation"
"I preferred the old Beyoncé. ... The one who didn’t use grieving mothers to shift records and further fill her already massively enriched purse," Morgan writes in an op-ed for the Daily Mail.
Days after Beyonce premiered her politically-charged HBO special Lemonade, Piers Morgan's latest controversial column targets the singer's recent transition from musician to "militant activist."
In an essay for the Daily Mail, titled "Jay-Z’s not the only one who needs to be nervous about Beyonce, the born-again-black woman with a political mission," Morgan recalls interviewing Beyonce at President Barack Obama's inaugural ball in 2008 and meeting a "bright, warm, funny, sharp" star "at pains to be seen as an entertainer and musician and not as a black woman who sings."
He remembers the singer, when asked if she ever experienced racism in her childhood, saying, "I feel like with my career I’ve now broken barriers. I don’t think people think about my race. ... It’s not about color and race, and I’m happy that’s changing."
"Now, it seems to be the complete opposite," Morgan writes. "The new Beyonce wants to be seen as a black woman political activist first and foremost, entertainer and musician second."
He cites her recent music video for "Formation," which contained references of the Black Lives Matter movement, and her Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, which alluded to the Black Panthers.
Morgan questions Beyonce's intentions for showing the grieving mothers of Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin in her video for "Lemonade," contending that both women were exploited to promote her album.
"I have huge personal sympathy for both women and there is no doubt that African-Americans have been treated appallingly by certain rogue elements within the country’s police forces," he writes. "But I felt very uneasy watching these women being used in this way to sell an album. It smacks of shameless exploitation."