M.I.A criticises Beyonce's BlackLivesMatter support

M.I.A on ES Magazine cover

M.I.A on ES Magazine cover

Singer-and-rapper M.I.A has criticised Beyonce for not supporting other minorities and only focusing her charitable and philanthropic efforts on her Africa/American heritage.

M.I.A has criticised Beyoncé's controversial Black Power salute and the #BlackLivesMatter campaign she supports for ignoring other minorities.

Beyonce made headlines in February when she joined Coldplay for their Super-Bowl halftime show and debuted her new single 'Formation' with a performance which featured her and her backing dancers dressed as controversial activist group The Black Panthers - which rose to prominence in the 60s and 70s before dissolving in 1982 - and giving raises fists salutes similar to the black power salute given by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City in support of the #BlackLivesMatter activist movement.

Her song contained lyrics referencing the mass protests across the US over police killings of unarmed young black men - which the #BlackLivesMatter campaign was set up to support - and the official response to 2005's Hurricane Katrina natural disaster in New Orleans.

Now M.I.A, 40, has questioned why Beyoncé is only focused on the African/American demographic she is part of and not other minorities in the US and across the world.

In an exclusive interview with ES Magazine, the 'Paper Planes' hitmaker - who had to flee the Sri Lankan Civil War as a child - said: "It's interesting that in America the problem you're allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter. It's not a new thing to me - it's what Lauryn Hill was saying in the 1990s, or Public Enemy in the 1980s. Is Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That's a more interesting question. And you cannot ask it on a song that's on Apple, you cannot ask it on an American TV programme, you cannot create a tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama isn't going to hump you back."

Not one to hold back, M.I.A was sued by the NFL after sticking her middle finger up to TV cameras during her appearance with Madonna at her halftime show at the 2012 Superbowl.

They reached a settlement months later but actions like this have given M.I.A a reputation that she is difficult and it's something she's struggling to shake off.

She said: "I have a reputation for being difficult ... I still don't get invited to the BRITs. I think they're scared of me. And I hardly ever get approached by corporations or brands. I have this massive 'No' sign on my face."

On whether this reputation is justified, she quickly replies "No".

The full interview with M.I.A appears in this week's issue of ES Magazine available now.


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