Beyoncé Criticized by Has-Been Piers Morgan

Morgan writes Beyoncé is now a "born again Black woman" who plays the "race card"; Twitter erupts.

Piers Morgan, British journalist and former CNN talk show host, wrote an essay published Monday in the U.K.'s Daily Mail titled "Jay-Z's not the only one who needs to be nervous about Beyoncé, the born-again-Black woman with a political mission," criticizing multi-platinum artist Beyoncé Knowles' "Lemonade," a visual album.


The hour-long visual album or short film debuted Saturday night on HBO and features videos for 12 of the songs on her sixth solo album of the same title. Morgan, the U.S. editor-at-large for the publication, begins his essay with fond memories of Beyoncé when he interviewed her in 2008 on his CNN show "Piers Morgan Live," which was cancelled in 2014.

Back then, he said, she was "at pains to be seen as an entertainer and musician and not as a Black woman who sings." 

"Lemonade" has created conflicting feelings for Morgan. He writes:

I have to be honest, I preferred the old Beyoncé. The less inflammatory, agitating one. The one who didn't use grieving mothers to shift records and further fill her already massively enriched purse. The one who didn't play the race card so deliberately and to my mind, unnecessarily. The one who wanted to be judged on her stupendous talent not her skin color, and wanted us all to do the same.

It seems he prefers the "Bootylicious" Beyoncé years to her new "Formation," one of the singles on "Lemonade."

Twitter responded:

Morgan tweeted on Tuesday: 

Actor Matt McGorry of ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder," also joined the conversation:

The visual album features Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson; Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, who succumbed to an illegal chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo; and Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, fatally shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, each holding a photograph of their son. Other artists have also been supportive of the mothers. For example, Prince, who died unexpectedly on Thursday, donated money to Martin's family.

Morgan said Beyoncé is using "grieving mothers to shift records," but she and her husband, Shawn "Jay Z" Carter, have donated substantially to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Related Story: Law Enforcement Calls for Beyoncè Boycott

The video for "Formation" caused a stir when it was released on Feb. 6. Beyoncé's anti-police brutality message is reflected in scenes including "Stop Shooting Us" spray painted in black against a white brick wall and a sinking New Orleans cop car at the video's conclusion.

That message didn't sit well with law enforcement unions across the country, which called for a police boycott of her tour. And she received backlash after performing the single during the Super Bowl 50 halftime on Feb. 7.

But, the "Formation" video also makes reference to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. And the lyrics to the song also celebrate her southern roots and being a Black woman:

My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana

You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama

I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros

I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils

Earned all this money but they never take the country out me

I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag …

Morgan said his issues with Beyoncé's visual album aren't about race. He takes issue with entertainers getting political. However, politics and music have a long history of intertwining.

For example, in the 1960s artists such as Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Odetta and Pete Seeger supported the Civil Rights Movement with their music. U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is an intentionally political song. For the past 30 years, Bruce Springsteen has been a political singer who endorses presidential candidates.

Morgan was also annoyed by a sample used in "Lemonade" in which Malcolm X says, "The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman."

"Lemonade" prominently features Black women including Serena Williams; actresses Amandla Stenberg, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Zendaya; singers Ibeyi and Chloe x Halle; and model Winnie Harlow.

The short film includes the poetry of 27-year-old Somali-British poet Warsan Shire. Also incorporated are nods to the literary styles of Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston, and the music of Nina Simone.

"Lemonade" is "based on every woman's journey of self-knowledge and healing," Tidal, the music streaming service owned by Jay Z, said in an announcement. The mix of spoken word, imagery and lyrics on love, betrayal, infidelity and anger also has social media wondering if Beyoncé's newest release is directed toward her husband.

70 Percent of Irish Women Voted to Legalize Abortion in Ireland Creating Landslide Victory

A most conservative country when it comes to abortion rights begins to wake up to the logical conclusion that if your gender can't bear children, you should probably stop mansplaining and man-deciding.

Presiding Officer Carmel McBride prepares the polling station for the referendum on liberalizing abortion law . / REUTERS

UPDATE: May 26, 2018

Ireland has voted to repeal its abortion ban. The Irish Times exit poll suggested that women voted by 70 percent in favor of legalizing abortion.

ORIGINAL STORY

Ireland is one of Europe's most socially conservative countries, with one of the world's strictest bans on abortion. Residents went to the polls on Friday for a "once in a generation opportunity" to decide whether to liberalize or maintain the country's abortion laws.

For Americans, conservatives trying to control abortion rights using religion sound all too familiar.

Read More Show Less

Jury Awards $28M to Haitian-American Nurse Who Stood Up for Coworker

Brigham and Women's Hospital retaliated against a nurse for defending a coworker amid alleged verbal abuse.

Gessy Toussaint — who shares the name of the best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint L'Ouverture — also believes in fighting against the odds and winning.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury ruled on Wednesday that Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., retaliated against Toussaint, a Haitian-American nurse who stood up for a colleague, and has awarded her $28 million. Deliberation took more than three days.

Read More Show Less

Racist Train Rider Charged with Hate Crime for Rant at Black Woman: Video

"I'll smack the [expletive] out of you, you loud mouth monkey [expletive]," Edward Ruggiero said to Soraya Orelien.

FACEBOOK

Being a racist is ignorant and costly.

The Queens, N.Y., district attorney on Wednesday charged Edward Ruggiero, who was caught on video hurling racist insults at a Black woman on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), with a hate crime.

Read More Show Less
Tomi Lahren

A video of the polarizing Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren being splashed with water by another patron and heckled at a Minneapolis restaurant last weekend for her racist on-air commentary has gone viral. President Donald Trump was quick to respond.

Meanwhile, it took Trump 22 days to call a Black man who saved the lives of Waffle House customers. Also, he did not immediately fire one of his aides for making a death joke about Sen. John McCain, a war hero fighting terminal brain cancer.

Read More Show Less

Why They Take a Knee — Parking Violation Results in Savage, Racist Cop Behavior: Video

"My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn't happen to anybody," said NBA player Sterling Brown.

Milwaukee's school-to-prison pipeline for Black students is notoriously awful. In Milwaukee County, more than half of Black men in their thirties have served time in prison. The racism and racial profiling that perpetually exists in the city is again in the national spotlight as police used excessive force on a Black NBA player.

Read More Show Less

Lesbian Latina Sets Out to Make History and Oust Anti-LGBT Texas Gov.

Lupe Valdez, former sheriff of Dallas County, is the first openly gay and Latina to win a major party nomination for governor in Texas.

REUTERS

A new sheriff may soon be in town in Texas, and she's already making history.

Read More Show Less
REUTERS

Twenty-one white people (including seven male board members and CEO Steve Simon) of a total of 22 people in the World Tennis Association's (WTA) management made the call to boot Serena Williams from seeding for the French Open for having a baby.

Read More Show Less