After receiving tons of backlash in the sea of reports claiming that Beyonce would be writing and starring in a biopic on the life of enslaved South African performer Saartjie Baartman, Billboard is reporting that a rep for the singer confirms that she will not be partaking in this creative endeavor.
“Beyonce is in no way tied to this project,” her rep told the site in a statement on Tuesday (Jan. 5). “This is an important story that should be told, however.”
Baartman (also referred to as the “Hottentot Venus”), known for her prominent and voluptuous physical features, was a staple in European freak shows during the early 1800s. She died at the age of 26, but was not properly buried in her native country until 2002. Her tale sadly encapsulates the disturbing history of humiliation and ridicule of the black female body that has long been an issue in society.
After reports of Knowles’ involvement gained traction yesterday, naysayers came out in droves. Jean Burgess, a South African chief of the Ghonaqua First Peoples, said that Queen Bey lacks the “human dignity” necessary to portray such an important figure.
“Why not a story about an Indigenous American woman? I can only see arrogance in her attempt to tell a story that is not hers to tell,” she told South Africa’s News24.
This is not the first time that the superstar has been rumored to be linked to movie projects. After recent reports said that she would be starring in Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born, the actor himself shot them down.