R’n’B ‘Diva’ Beyoncé has been attacked by critics for her ‘decision’ to make a film about ‘Sarah’ Saartjie Baartman, who was born to the Khoisan family, Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Stories circulated linking pop star Beyoncé to a film about Baartman’s life that she would both star in and write.
Sarah Baartman, was a South African woman who became known for her large derriere and ‘unusual coloring’.
Baartman was taken to Europe in 1810 and objectified by those who would pay to see her half-naked body, under stage name of Hottentot Venus.
Not everyone believes that Beyoncé is the right person to tell the story.
Leading the critics is Jean Burgess, a South African chief of the Ghonaqua First Peoples.
She opposed to the singer’s decision, on the grounds that someone should only tell the story of a South African woman from a similar cultural background.
“She lacks the basic human dignity to be worthy of writing Sarah’s Saartjie’s story, let alone playing the part,” Chief Jean Burgess told South Africa’s News 24.
“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,” Burgess added.
“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 her’s to tell.”
The single ladies hit-maker’s decision to film also prompted cries of cultural appropriation and whitewashing — in this case by potentially casting a more light-skinned performer of an iconic figure.
Lebogang Mackensie said, “Also can we stop using American actors to tell the story of South African icons???
Why must Beyonce play Sarah Baartman???”
Beyoncé’s representatives however, denied that she was ever linked to the concept in a statement to Billboard magazine on Tuesday.
“Beyonce is in no way tied to this project,” they said in a statement. “This is an important story that should be told, however.”
Perhaps she withdrew because of the critics and rare backlash to a project that is not yet off the ground?
According to The Sun, a UK online platform, a Hollywood source revealed: “Beyonce is desperate to be taken seriously as an actress.”
“Even though she’s had a string of well-received movies, she still feels her breakthrough role is yet to come.
“She now wants to write a screenplay that gains her respect — and hopefully awards — from the film industry, and thinks Saartjie’s story could be her ticket.
Beyoncé has been on Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001) Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)The Fighting Temptations (2003)The Pink Panther (2006)Dreamgirls (2006)Cadillac Records (2008)Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! : Wubb Idol (2009) Obsessed(2009) Life Is But a Dream and Epic (2013)