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Cancel culture: Is Beyonce next?

Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro

Managing Editor

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Mason Poole/Parkwood Entertainment LLC

There is no question about it: Cancel culture is prevalent today. It affects every aspect of entertainment, as well: Certain books have been banned from schools, certain artists have been either censored or have slowly faded out of popular culture, talk show hosts have been under scrutiny, the list goes on. Celebrities, authors, etc., now appear to be in a time where they have to constantly look over their shoulder for fear of offending someone. This also pertains to our personal lives as well. We are constantly worried about offending people in a general manner, getting someone’s pronoun usage correctly, being politically correct when speaking.


I am not here to judge which celebrity should or should not be canceled. I am not here to judge their actions. We are all human, we all make mistakes. Some of these mistakes we are completely aware of, and some of them we are not. For example, Lizzo removed a suggestive word from one of her songs, not realizing it was as offensive as it is. Now, since she has apologized, it is highly unlikely that we will ever hear of this again – unless, of course, cancel culture becomes a subject of study in school and our grandchildren and great-grandchildren ask us if we remembered these times.


Up next for potential cancellation is Beyonce, the Queen herself. She just released a new CD, titled “Renaissance,” which is viewed as a very LGBTQ+-friendly album. The album itself is “a personal love letter to dance music and a celebration of gay culture.” After not having performed for the last four years, she was paid $24 million for a one hour, private concert. She performed her concert and her daughter Blue Ivy even joined her on stage. All well and fine, correct? Not at all.


The concert venue Beyonce was set to perform in was, in fact, a hotel lobby. She was there to celebrate the opening of the hotel. In attendance were her family, of course, as well as other celebrity guests, such as Kendall Jenner, Ellen Pompeo and Winston Duke. Also in attendance were business people and social media influencers. Beyonce had agreed to the concert, asking that no phones be allowed, meaning there are to be no videos or photos. This is a very reasonable request, which, of course, was not followed. Those who took photos and videos leaked them, as footage of the concert has been appearing online.


Okay, I promise now I am getting to the point. The concert was held in a hotel in Dubai. Yes, Dubai, where it is still criminal to be homosexual and transgender.


In the past, we have seen celebrities cancel concerts and appearances because the area they are going to be in does not line up with their beliefs. For example, the Spice Girls’ Mel C – Sporty Spice, for those of you who remember the group – canceled a New Year’s Eve performance in Poland a few years back after being made aware of issues that do not align with the communities and things she supports. In Poland too, gay marriage is illegal, though as of 1938 is it okay to be openly gay.


So, if Beyonce is an ally, a true friend and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, then why did she accept the offer to perform in a country that is known for its harsh treatment of the poorer members of the LGBTQ+ community? At this time, it is all unknown. Neither Queen Bey or her representatives have issued a statement.


Fans on Twitter are calling her out on this, saying that it is cause to cancel her. Kickback from LGBTQ+ fans has not been nice, and this whole situation is just sticky and messy.


After not having performed in four years, or even after not having released the music videos for her new album, Queen Bey is certainly making headlines.


Also worth noting is that this is not the first time she has performed under questionable circumstances. On New Years Eve 2009, Beyonce performed a private concert on the island of St. Barts organized by a man named Mutassim, who has since passed away. This person just so happens to be the son of General Gaddafi, the Libyan leader who invaded other African countries. She was paid $2 million for that concert, though maybe because it was donated to Haitian Relief, this incident has long been forgotten. In all fairness, Beyonce was not the only celebrity who performed. Also appearing were Bon Jovi, Lindsay Lohan and Russell Simmons. Other celebrity models such as Miranda Kerr and Victoria Silvetedt were in the crowd as well.


Perhaps status has something to do with whether or not a celebrity gets canceled. Either way, should something like this be overlooked, or should Beyonce get canceled? If not, should there be some sort of consequence?


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