WATCH: SNL’s hilariously honest response to white cries of ‘racism’ after Beyonce’s Superbowl performance and her music video for ‘Formation’
At times when it seems the nation is exhibiting a ludicrous degree of ignorance, Saturday Night Live cannot resist the opportunity to make us laugh… at ourselves.
Here’s a perfect example.
A few weeks ago, in true Queen B fashion, Beyoncé basically ran the world. In a single weekend, she dropped the music video for her first single since 2014 with no prior announcement, absolutely killed it with her performance during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show, and announced an upcoming world tour (as though she’s not on one already).
But here’s where it gets political. The single Beyoncé released, titled “Formation”, is an homage to her experiences as a black woman in America. The video, which you can see here or at the end of this article, sends a powerful message of solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement. If you haven’t seen it yet, prepare to be slain. If not by Beyoncé, then by Blue Ivy’s cameo. *cries*.
The song has been heralded as an anthem for the black community (especially women) and the Superbowl performance, where Bey’s dancers were dressed in costumes reminiscent of The Black Panther Party, was a monumental moment–and so was the conservative backlash.
Rush Limbaugh derided Beyoncé’s performance at the Super Bowl as evidence “of the cultural decay and the political decay and the social rot that is befalling our country.” Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, took a similar tone and said he found it “really outrageous that [Beyoncé] used [the halftime show] as a platform to attack police officers.” Some white people are actually protesting Red Lobster because Beyoncé’s song convinced them the restaurant chain is racist against white people.
To call these criticisms “off-base” is an understatement. And, notably, the largest critics of “Formation” all have one thing in common: they’re white.
Thankfully, SNL had the perfect comeback for Bey’s detractors.
Parodying the campy style of a horror movie trailer, this segment titled “The Day Beyoncé Turned Black” shows an assortment of very confused white folks, who have just watched the “Formation” video, coming to the downright terrifying realization that Beyoncé… is black.
“Hot sauce in my bag…swag? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??”
“Maybe this song…isn’t…for…us…?”
“BUT USUALLY EVERYTHING IS.”
The SNL segment highlights a truth that has become critical for white Americans to recognize. Namely, that white people (myself included) frequently fail to understand that not every piece of mainstream media is curated solely for our consumption. White people are so accustomed to being represented in every place we look, that when the world’s most popular black pop star writes a song about her experience of race in America, and releases it during Black History Month, we somehow feel entitled to be slighted. Someone inevitably gets “upset” that race was interfering with their musical consumption, and now they feel “alienated.”
This attitude could not be more vacuous, as illustrated by the absurdity of the SNL skit. Beyoncé celebrating being black does not make her anti-white.
So, thank you, SNL–for calling out the bullshit, and using your platform to facilitate a conversation that’s not always easy to have.
I leave you now, with commentary from FoxNews:
For those who haven’t seen or wish to enjoy again, here’s Beyoncé’s “Formation” video, as promised: