The “Formation” parody unleashed by Amy Schumer resulted in shockwaves on social media when she was blasted for what many perceived as racial insensitivity.
Following the backlash, Schumer took to Instagram to try to brush off the criticism, but that has done little to quite down the Twitterverse. As a result, Schumer has written a short essay explaining her motivation in producing her “Formation” video.
“Saying I love Beyoncé’s album ‘Lemonade” is a huge understatement,” she writes. “I believe it is one of the greatest pieces of art of our time.
“While we were shooting our movie in Hawaii this summer we were all crazy for the album and also for Hillary Clinton,” she continues. “We would rush back to our televisions or phones to watch a stream of CNN to see the convention and watch Hillary and Michelle and so many extraordinary women speak. All of the women on set were bonded together from this music and from the election simultaneously. It was such a powerful time.”
As Schumer explains, she loves “Formation” because it’s essentially “Beyonce telling us to get in formation. And also I like to think she is telling us ladies to get information. I did not mean to detract any of the meaning from the video. 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.”
“Lemonade,” she adds, “brought us all together. We listened to the album and danced every day, always making everyone feel better no matter what we were going through. We were so into it that we learned the dance to ‘Formation.’ It got us through this summer. Meredith, my stunt double even got a ‘Lemonade’ tattoo because of how real and meaningful it was to her, to us. We would use each location we shot at and do a part of the song. To have Goldie Hawn dancing with Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack and Raven Goodwin and all the female writers and producers and crew from all over the world doing this together felt very powerful and right.”
Her video, she insists, “was NEVER a parody. It was just us women celebrating each other. The video Beyonce 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. I loved every second of working with those women to make this thing that lifted us up.
“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. Of course I had Beyoncé and Jay Z’s approval. They released it on Tidal exclusively for the first 24 hours.”
She concludes: “You have every right to feel however you feel about the video and me but I want you to know I’m not going anywhere. Use whatever hashtag you like. 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 #allloveAsm”