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Beyonce's surprise new music video 'Formation' already subject of controversy

'I guess it's flattering that people f*ck with the things you've created'

Jack Shepherd
Sunday 07 February 2016 10:45 GMT
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(Getty)

Beyoncé surprised almost everyone when she dropped her Blue Ivy featuring, politically charged new music video “Formation (Dirty)”.

After a quiet 2015, this marks the singer’s second video of 2015, having starred in Coldplay’s “Hymn’s for the Weekend” as a Bollywood actress, a role that was criticised for “appropriating Indian culture”.

“Formation” is Beyoncé’s first new track since the 2014 re-release of her self-titled album, which was, at the time, also a surprise release. Watch the video below.

Less than 24 hours after its release (and over 4m YouTube views later), two filmmakers have claimed some of the footage used is stolen from a documentary they worked on.

Chris Black wrote on Twitter that the “new Beyoncé video used hella clips from the doc I produced and directed.”

The documentary he was referring to was the 9 minute long That B.E.A.T. which centres on ‘NOLA bounce culture’ and was directed by Abteen Bagheri.

Black continued: “I guess it's flattering that people f*ck with the things you've created but also frustrating when they want to use it like it's theirs.”

Bagheri also weighed into the conversation, saying: “I'm not mad. It's the sad reality of the music business. Doesn't affect my friends' and my work, but not cool.”

Beyoncé’s team were quick to respond to the criticism, issuing a statement to The Fadar which reads: "The documentary footage was used with permission and licensed from the owner of the footage. They were given proper compensation.

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“The footage was provided to us by the filmmaker's production company. The filmmaker is listed in the credits for additional photography direction. We are thankful that they granted us permission."

The director of the music video, Melina Matsoukas, acknowledged both Black and Bagheri in a Tweet, saying how beautiful the NOLA footage is.

In separate emails to The Fadar, both The B.E.A.T. filmmakers achnowledged they would not be perusing legal action, Black saying: "All we want is respect and credit. They don't know what we sacrificed to make [the film]. They just came along and took it without crediting us.

"I love Beyoncé. I still think she's dope and I have no ill will or feelings towards her or anybody but at the end of the day we have to respect other filmmakers who are working just as hard... Why use the footage from the doc we did? She has a larger budget than we did and they gave no credit to the filmmakers. If I hadn't said anything about this would you have known where it came from?"

After both the statement and the Tweet from Matsoukas, Bagheri finally sent out another message thanking them for the credit.

Beyonce has reportedly been rehearsing “Formation” for the Super Bowl 50, which will also feature Coldplay and Bruno Mars.

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