Comedian Amy Schumer has responded in detail to criticisms that her video parody of Beyoncé’s music video “Formation” was racially insensitive.
“It was NEVER a parody,” Schumer, 35, insisted in an essay at the website Medium, referring to the video clip “Get in Formation,” featuring Goldie Hawn, her costar in a recently filmed mother/daughter comedy, as well as Joan Cusack, Wanda Sykes, and others lip-syncing to the Beyoncé song.
“It was just us women celebrating each other,” Schumer wrote of the clip, released Oct. 21. “The video Beyoncé made was so moving and I wouldn’t ever make fun of that. There is absolutely no way to. I make fun of myself a few times in the video as I do in everything I am a part of. I loved every second of working with those women to make this thing that lifted us up.”
Schumer noted, “Of course I had Beyoncé and Jay Z’s approval,” referring to the singer’s music-mogul husband. The two are among the major partners in the music-streaming service Tidal. “They released it on Tidal exclusively for the first 24 hours.”
Nonetheless, Schumer faced widespread criticism on social media as well as in some newspaper op-ed pieces. Critics were not mollified by her initial response on Instagram, in which she wrote, “You know you that [expletive] when you cause all this conversation,” quoting the song lyrics. “Thanks for the exclusive release Tidal! We had so much fun making this tribute. All love and women inspiring each other.”
Calling the Beyoncé female-empowerment album “Lemonade,” from which the song came, “One of the greatest art pieces of our time,” Schumer said in her new essay that any hurt caused by her own video “was not my intention,” adding, “You have every right to feel however you feel about the video and me but I want you to know I’m not going anywhere. Use whatever hashtag you like. My mission is to continue to work as hard as I can to empower women and make them laugh and feel better and I won’t let anything stop me. #strongertogether #alllove.”