Janelle Monae wanted to use her performance on The Today Show last week as a way to communicate her views on police brutality and systemic racism — but the producers seemed less interested in giving the telecast a social justice bent.
During her live performance Friday morning (Aug. 14), Monae gave “Hell You Talmbout,” her label Wondaland Records’ latest single, its onstage debut. The song is a musical tribute to some of the recent victims of racially motivated violence. Accordingly, Monae concluded the performance with a similarly themed speech.
“Yes Lord! God bless America!” she told the crowd. “God bless all the lost lives to police brutality. We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know we stand tall today. We will not be silenced…” Then, the camera suddenly panned to one of the show’s anchors. See the clip below:
— marla york. (@theseMYtweetz) August 14, 2015
Footage of the “Hell You Talmbout” performance has not been made available on the Today show website.
UPDATE: A source at the Today Show explains that “The show went to a hard commercial break at the end of “Tightrope,” which ran a couple of minutes over time. The performance was not intentionally cut off — the show is programmed for that hard commercial break at the same time every day.” “Hell You Talmbout” was not performed.