Amy Schumer has penned an essay responding to criticism of a short “tribute” video to Beyoncé’s “Formation,” an anthemic song about the black female experience. But the comedian stopped short of issuing an apology following the backlash.
In the video, Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes, and Joan Cusack dance and lip-sync on the location of the upcoming film Mother/Daughter. “It was NEVER a parody,” Schumer wrote on Medium. “It was just us women celebrating each other. The video Beyoncé made was so moving and I wouldn’t ever make fun of that.”
After the video was released on Tidal, a streaming service owned by Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z, Schumer was swiftly accused of racism and cultural appropriation. Twitter users created a hashtag, #AmySchumerGottaGoParty, to express their displeasure with the comedian. “There is no possible excuse for @AmySchumer not to know the cultural significance of #Formation for black women,” one critic wrote. “I hope this hurts her career.”
Schumer asserted in her essay that she did not mean to detract any of the meaning from the video. “I am of course horrified and sickened by the events that are addressed throughout that video and didn’t see this as minimizing that and still don’t. It was a way to celebrate bringing us all together.”
She added that the Mother/Daughter cast bonded over Beyoncé’s album, Lemonade. “We listened to the album and danced every day, always making everyone feel better no matter what we were going through,” Schumer wrote. “We were so into it that we learned the dance to ‘Formation.’ It got us through this summer.”
Before closing her essay, Schumer noted that Beyoncé and Jay-Z approved of the video. “Of course I had Beyoncé and Jay Z’s approval,” she said. “They released it on Tidal exclusively for the first 24 hours.”
Read more at Buzzfeed.