South African chief says Beyoncé is ‘not worthy’ to make Saartjie Baartman film

Reps for Beyoncé have shot down the rumours

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The Independent Culture

UPDATE: A representative for Beyoncé tells The Independent that the singer is in no way connected to the Saartjie Baartman biopic.

“Beyoncé is not connected to the project," the rep said. "This is an important story that should be told, however.”

The Sun previously reported that Beyoncé hired a team of coaches to help her write and star in the 19 Century biopic of Saartjie Baartman, a South African woman who was taken from her home and put on display at freak shows in London.

Rumours of Beyoncé’s project caught the attention of South African Chief Jean Burgess of the Ghonaqua First Peoples. Chief Burgess condemned the rumours by saying the South African woman’s story of enslavement is not Beyoncé’s story to tell.

“She lacks the basic human dignity to be worthy of writing Sarah’s story, let alone playing the part,” Chief Burgess told News24. “Ignoring the fact that the KhoiKhoi is alive and that Sarah’s story would have an impact on how we are portrayed, is a mistake of great magnitude.”

“Why Sarah Baartman? 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.”

On the other hand, Gamtkwa Khoisan Council Member Kobus Reichert told the outlet that he had no issues with Beyoncé's project — as long as the film was made respectfully and included Baartman's hometown of Eastern Cape.