On Sunday evening, Beyoncé delivered one of the most legendary performances the MTV Video Music Awards may have ever seen. And now that her show is done, and everyone has recouped from the slayage, it’s time for the critics to come out: cue former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The morning after Queen Bey performed a 15-minute medley from Lemonade, Giuliani joined the hosts of Fox and Friends and put in his two cents. Now, this isn’t the first time the former mayor critiqued Beyoncé after a thought-provoking show. After her Super Bowl halftime show this year, Giuliani called the Black Panther references an “attack on cops.”
During her performance at the VMAs, Beyoncé included some imagery that appeared to be a tribute to the Black lives taken at the hands of police officers. It should be noted that this symbolism was clear, yet subtle and in no way was it the majority of her show-stopping performance. Yet, between the booty shaking, tight choreography, fire, multiple outfit changes and perfect pitch, Giuliani somehow took offense and felt that she was in some way acting shamefully.
In the Fox interview, anchor Ainsley Earhardt asked Giuliani what he thought of the dancers dressed as angels being shot down, symbolizing Black lives taken by police officers. Giuliani started off by saying, “You're asking the wrong person because I had five uncles who were police officers, two cousins who were, one who died in the line of duty. I ran the largest and best police department in the world, the New York City Police Department. And I saved more Black lives than any of those people you saw on stage by reducing crime and particularly homicide by 75 percent."
Well Rudy, no one on staged claimed to be saving any lives. In fact, they used their art to send a message that strongly resonates within the current national climate. Beyoncé is using her incredibly large platform to creatively express the reality of struggle that many Black people still face. She attended the award show with the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Oscar Grant, almost as if she was saying you are not forgotten.
Giuliani continued to say, “Of which, of which maybe 4,000 or 5,000 were African-American young people who are alive today because of the policies I put in effect that weren't in effect for 35 years.” OK, well if we are going to address your policies, Mr. Giuliani, then we should also bring up your controversial “Broken Windows” policing theory which led to the mass incarceration of Black and Latino men for misdemeanor crimes.
As the interview on Fox and Friends came to an end, Fox co-host Brian Kilmeade said, "Beyoncé is an extremely popular and powerful performer, and when she does stuff like that, that message to the next generation is pretty indelible."
How did Giuliani respond?
"It's a shame," he concluded. "It’s a shame."
Well it's no surprise people on Twitter thought Giuliani's comments were a shame. Check out the best digs people threw at the former mayor below.
(Photos from left: Kevin Mazur/WireImage, Joe Raedle/Getty Images)