Internet backlash has been fierce and swift for former CNN host Piers Morgan, who wrote an op-ed for the U.K.’s Daily Mail Monday, stating how he “prefers” the “old” Beyoncé over the “new,” “militant” Beyoncé.
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The superstar singer released her new album, Lemonade, over the weekend, and fans have been going absolutely ape over it. Most people seem to love it, with the exception of Morgan; he calls himself a fan of Beyoncé, but then goes on to say in his op-ed that her music and style has become overly militaristic and political in the past five years.
I feel uncomfortable about Beyoncé using grieving mothers to sell albums. My new column:https://t.co/cP3eu5asak pic.twitter老域名购买/pPMH5tbVUp
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 25, 2016
Morgan, now a host of Good Morning Britain, recounts a day in 2011 he spent in London with Beyoncé, calling her “bright, warm, funny, sharp and incredibly impressive,” and she resisted any particular political stance at the time, “preferring to entertain for the sake of entertaining.”
Now, Morgan claims, she’s “unnecessarily playing the race card,” and “using grieving mothers to [sell] records and further fill her already massively enriched purse.”
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Morgan is, of course, referring to Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin, young, unarmed black men both killed by the police. The mothers of both Brown and Martin appear in a video for Lemonade, looking sombre as they hold photos of their slain sons. At another point in the video, Beyoncé tells the audience via the voice of Malcolm X that “the most disrespected woman in America is the black woman.”
“I felt very uneasy watching these women being used in this way to sell an album,” wrote Morgan. “It smacks of shameless exploitation. I still think she’s a wonderful singer and performer, and some of the music on Lemonade is fantastic. But I have to be honest, I preferred the old Beyoncé. The less inflammatory, agitating one.”
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The Beyhive (as her fans are called) leaped into action almost immediately after Morgan posted his op-ed, calling him a racist and an old white man out-of-touch with society. These are a small selection of the angry tweets posted.
The fact people like Piers Morgan don’t agree with the “new” Beyonce means she’s doing something right
— SPEAKS (@EmmanuelSpeaks_) April 25, 2016
Who wants to break it to @piersmorgan that Beyoncé doesn’t make records for pasty journos like him?
— Joshua Dixon (@JoshDixonTweets) April 25, 2016
Piers Morgan’s misogyny knows no bounds. He tried to slut-shame Kim, he’s trying to tell B what she can and can’t do – he’s always concerned
— Machiavelli In Heels (@Tha_Phoenix) April 25, 2016
Piers all over the world are hoping they collapse into the sea for fear of any association with Piers Morgan.
— Nadia (@NadiaKamil) April 25, 2016
Verdict: this @piersmorgan column is White Male Privilege personified. https://t.co/sJlw7FJ23b
— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) April 25, 2016
Piers Morgan article on Beyonce..Pfft disappointing
You are uncomfortable cos she is so Black now.That she condemns the killing of her pple
— Omoba Adefioye (@fezyexquisite) April 25, 2016
Piers Morgan has a massive ego mixed with extreme delusion. He absolutely thinks people want to hear his opinions on Beyonce and race.
— Ashley (@ashcech) April 25, 2016
Piers Morgan going to breakdown Beyonce’s militancy. Uh, very white dude, don’t go there.
— MariaMeanmuthafucka (@desertcronenm) April 25, 2016
Beyoncé was also criticized for her Super Bowl halftime performance in February. Many thought it appeared to be a tribute to the Black Panther Party.
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She released the single Formation just before the game — a black power anthem that makes reference to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. against police killings of unarmed black men.
Months later, it seems apparent that the “new” Beyoncé isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
With files from The Associated Press and Adam Frisk
Timeline of Beyoncé's Career | PrettyFamous