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Amy Schumer Responds to ‘Formation’ Controversy, Her Video Still Sucks

Amy Schumer posted a response on Medium to address her controversial “Formation” video. You know, the one with a bunch of white chicks dancing around to a black empowerment song.

Schumer states that the video was an act of love. She was deeply inspired by Lemonade and loved the message of women coming together. The cast bonded over the album and even learned the dance from the Beyonce video, which is not apparent from the Schumer version.

She goes on to clarify the intentions of her video. “It was NEVER a parody. It was just us women celebrating each other. The video Beyoncé made was so moving and I wouldn’t ever make fun of that. There is absolutely no way to. I make fun of myself a few times in the video as I do in everything I am a part of.” How she made fun of herself is unclear, unless she’s claiming her dancing was purposely off, which is doubtful.

“Of course I had Beyoncé and Jay Z’s approval,” Schumer states. The rest of the article goes on to say she’s sorry if anyone felt bad about the video, but she still likes it and she’s not going anywhere. “My mission is to continue to work as hard as I can to empower women and make them laugh and feel better and I won’t let anything stop me. #strongertogether #alllove”

This piece is basically a longer version of her original Instagram post that made it clear she appreciated Beyonce and Jay Z and was not going to apologize. Also, she was topless for some reason.

It seems like Schumer’s intentions are good. I don’t think anyone assumed she was making fun of African-American issues or didn’t have great respect for Lemonade.

The problem is that the video did not need to be done. How does it show women’s strength? By showing off your ass and posing sexily? Is that all we gain by empowerment? How does it show women coming together? It has a group photo at the end that shows the cast and crew standing for a posed picture. Who cares?

The original Beyonce version showed the truth and beauty of black lives that a lot of white America isn’t exposed to. Plus, it’s her own song, so of course she’ll do a video. And Beyonce is some kind of goddess put on this world. That’s just fact.

Schumer’s little cover version adds nothing to pop culture. It reiterates cliches of sexy women posing on cars that have been around since music videos began. It didn’t add commentary or show a uniting of women despite the odds. It was a lip dub video by the high school cast of Guys and Dolls that they did between rehearsals. I don’t need to see that released on Tidal.

I wish no ill will to Amy Schumer. She can do whatever she wants and she is way more successful than me, so who the hell am I to criticize. Plus, I’m glad she didn’t just offer up a bullshit apology and move on. But not understanding that your white interpretation of a very moving video is at least unnecessary and at worse denigrating to an entire culture, is not good.

If you want to empower, do something empowering. You’re already making a movie with a mostly female cast and crew! That’s great. Highlight that instead of showing the world that you all could learn a couple of dance steps and do light twerking.

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