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Amy Schumer addresses Formation video backlash: It was never a parody

Comedian says Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ is ‘one of the greatest pieces of art of our time’

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Amy Schumer has penned a second, more detailed response to the backlash over her recent video referencing Beyoncé’s Formation.

In a statement published Thursday titled Information About My “Formation”, the comedian expresses her admiration for Beyoncé and her latest album, which Schumer considers “one of the greatest pieces of art of our time.” Schumer also asserts that her own video — which features her and Goldie Hawn recreating Beyoncé’s choreography in a jungle setting — was intended not as satire but as a celebration of female strength and solidarity.

“It was NEVER a parody,” Schumer writes. “It was just us women celebrating each other. The video Beyoncé made was so moving and I wouldn’t ever make fun of that.”

Filmed during production of Schumer and Hawn’s upcoming comedy Mother/Daughter, their video, “Get in Formation,” created a stir when it was released last week on Tidal. Some accused Schumer of cultural appropriation and insensitivity to the serious issues explored in Lemonade, such as police brutality and racial politics.

Schumer initially brushed off the controversy with an Instagram post quoting a Lemonade lyric: “You know you that b‑‑‑‑ when you cause all this conversation.” She also emphasized that the video debuted exclusively on Tidal — which is partially owned by Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z — and referred to it as a “tribute.”

In Thursday’s statement, Schumer confirms that she had Beyoncé’s approval and addresses the criticism more directly. “I did not mean to detract any of the meaning from the [Lemonade] video,” she writes. “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. To fight for what we all want. And to do it together.”

Stopping short of an explicit apology, she adds, “If you watched it and it made you feel anything other than good, please know that was not my intention. The movie we made is fun and the women in it are strong and want to help each other. That’s what it was about for me.”

Read Schumer’s full statement on Medium.