NEW YORK: Pop superstar Beyonce has rejected criticism that her new activism is “anti-police,” saying she is tired of being assigned labels.
Beyonce caused a stir in February with her new song “Formation,” whose video was heavy in imagery from the Black Lives Matter protest movement including a scene in which police raise their hands up as if under arrest.
“I’m an artist, and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken,” she said in an interview with Elle magazine that came out Tuesday.
“I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things,” she said.
A police group and a number of conservative commentators said they were offended by the song, which musically marked Beyonce’s biggest foray into the Southern hip-hop style of bounce.
But Beyonce also won praise from activists who said that the pop star—who along with her husband, rap mogul Jay-Z, is worth an estimated $1 billion—was using her fame for social good.