Beyonce’s politically-charged performance at the Super Bowl has drawn its critics, calling for more “wholesome” entertainment for “Middle America”, but one comedian was determined to shut the haters down.
The Daily Show comedian Jessica Williams gave a pithy and witty rebuttal to Beyonce critics, telling the TV show audience that Beyonce’s performance was a message of black female empowerment, police brutality, black people’s “constant fear” of the police and the damage left by Hurricane Katrina.
Ms Williams said critics were not “ready for that jelly”, who said it was “outrageous” that Beyonce used her performance as a platform to attack the police. Her choreography also included an X-shaped formation in tribute to civil rights activist Malcolm X.
“As a black person, you walk around every day constantly reminded that you are black,” said Ms Williams.“We’re more likely to get paid less, we’re more likely to get sent to prison and we're more likely to win a dance competition - what, it’s not all bad."
“The point is Beyonce is black and this is her message. It’s what artists do,” she added.
Beyonce sang alonside Bruno Mars and Coldplay, and her lyrics talked about race: "Ladies, make a formation [...] You might just be a black Bill Gates in the making."
The comedian pointed out that fellow Super Bowl performer Chris Martin wore his Global Citizens armband to promote his message of ending worldwide poverty.
“You're right, the fans deserve more wholesome entertainment," said Ms Williams. "Like watching 300-pound men giving each other concussions while the crowd cheers like we’re extras in the movie Gladiator."
“Were you not entertained?” Ms Williams asked.