Bill O’Reilly is obsessed with criticizing Beyonce – for all the wrong reasons.
And it’s getting old.
O’Reilly, the conservative Fox News commentator, has unleashed a continuing campaign against Beyonce for her “raunchy” videos that O’Reilly says young girls – many of whom are Beyonce’s fans — should not watch.
He has criticized Beyonce on his Fox News program; he has blasted her to Russell Simmons, and most recently, O’Reilly appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to beat up on Beyonce some more.
What’s the problem? O’Reilly says Beyonce’s Drunk in Love song and video are over-the-top vulgar and too crude for American culture.
“She puts out a new album with a video that glorifies having sex in the back of a limousine. Teenage girls look up to Beyoncé, particularly girls of color,” O’Reilly told Simmons. “Why on Earth would this woman do that? Why would she do it when she knows the devastation that unwanted pregnancies…and fractured families—why would Beyoncé do that?”
But let’s be clear: O’Reilly doesn’t care about the future of young black girls in America. He doesn’t care about uplifting a generation of black youth. O’Reilly does what O’Reilly does: he uses one controversial topic to denigrate African-Americans and turns most discussions about American culture into a monologue about race – and black folks in particular.
“Right now in the African American community 72 percent of babies are born out wedlock,” O’Reilly told Letterman. “Back when Motown was hot…it was 10 or 12 percent. So what we’re seeing then is a deleterious effect on American society. And all I’m saying to somebody like Beyoncé is, ‘Look, these girls love you. They idolize you. You have all the money you need. You are very talented, do some uplifting stuff. You’ll sell as many records.”
O’Reilly argued that Beyonce influences girls “who don’t have responsible parents.”
How does O’Reilly know these parents are not responsible? And is he saying that Beyonce’s videos are responsible for children born out of wedlock? These are wild, racially-charged comments with no basis in fact and another attempt by O’Reilly to disparage African-Americans.
I’ve seen the video and heard Drunk in Love and it is raunchy. No question about it. There’s no doubt that too many young black girls who idolize Beyonce don’t need to watch that video. It sends a bad message. I know black parents who were cringing watching Beyonce gyrate on stage during last month’s Grammy Awards performance.
“I did not appreciate seeing the opening act of a woman putting her naked butt in the camera lens, spreading her legs in front of the camera, behaving in a pornographic manner, then her husband Jay-Z comes on. They might well have had sex with one another on stage,” one parent wrote on Eonline.com. “Where is the class? I want to ask Beyoncé if it’s OK if I stick my butt in her child’s face like she did mine?”
Otis Williams, the oldest living member of The Temptations, told reporters he didn’t approve of Beyonce’s Grammy performance.
“I watched Beyoncé at the Grammys and I have to say, I’m a huge Beyoncé fan, but what she did with Jay-Z, I thought, ‘No you ain’t, girlfriend’!” Williams said.
Another parent wrote: “This program aired at 7:00 PM and was filled with obscene dancing and language. My 16-year-old daughter was viewing the show with me and she had the good sense to say ‘this is totally inappropriate.'”
Beyonce’s performance was certainly not for prime-time family viewing, but I’m not going to embrace a lecture about sex, race and American culture from the likes of Bill O’Reilly.
What do you think?