By most standards, it seemed the world unanimously approved of Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime performance on Sunday. That is, of course, unless you’ve been watching Fox News, where pundits have come just short of calling it un-American. Well, Jessica Williams is not having it.
The Daily Show correspondent jumped to Beyonce’s defense on air Monday night to point out the hypocrisy of people like former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Fox News host Stuart Varney, who criticized Beyonce’s nod to the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter movement in both the wardrobe of her halftime dancers and the lyrics of her new song “Formation.”
“Is there anything in America that can exclude race?” Varney griped. “Why is race brought in at the halftime show of the Super Bowl?”
Williams’ response? Buckle up.
“Race was brought in because Beyonce was brought in,” she said. “And brace yourself. You might want to sit down for this. But Beyoncé is black.”
“As a black person, you walk around everyday constantly reminded that you are black,” she elaborated. “We’re more likely to get paid less, we’re more likely to get sent to prison, and we’re more likely to win a dance competition.”
“What?” she shrugged. “It’s not all bad.”
Williams praised the “Formation” video as “awesome because there was so much in this video about black female empowerment. But it’s not just about self-love. She calls out police brutality and the constant fear that black people have of the police.”
Williams then cut to a clip of Giuliani arguing that because the Super Bowl is “talking to Middle America” its entertainment should be “wholesome.”
“Are you saying you can’t talk about ‘race issues’ to Middle America?” Williams questioned. “What are they, so delicate and unaware, and maybe so white, that Beyonce is too much for them? You know what’s right in the middle of America? Ferguson, Missouri.”
“Furthermore,” she continued, “I’m sorry this wasn’t wholesome enough for you. I didn’t realize that singing about race was equivalent to Janet Jackson getting her titty pulled out at the Super Bowl. But you’re right. You know what? The fans deserve wholesome entertainment, like watching 300-pound men give each other concussions while a crowd cheers like we’re extras in the movie Gladiator.”
Check out Williams’ full monologue below: