The Beyhive has its stingers out. While basically everyone in the modern world worships Beyoncé (and if you don’t, are you OK?), the really die-hard Queen Bey fans are another species altogether. Since she’s fresh off the success of the “EVERYTHING IS LOVE” album and her Netflix Coachella documentary “Homecoming,” Beyoncé is living the good life. Good enough that she can relax and watch the NBA Finals, like she did courtside at Oracle Arena for Game 3 between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. But what was an innocent night out has turned almost deadly due to some over-the-top defense of Mrs. Carter.
There’s not much history to discuss here, really. We know that Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z are big basketball fans. Exhibits A, B and C:
And we can go back to this photo with Jake Gyllenhaal, which sparked great commentary in which fans were reminding Jay that he was replaceable. All in good fun, of course.
But other than that, let’s just dive in.
ESPN brought this clip into the world of internet scorn:
In it, Beyoncé is sitting between her husband and a woman, who leans over her to talk to Jay-Z. Viewers took Beyoncé’s expression to be a side-eye of the woman, who turned out to be Warriors owner Joe Lacob’s wife, Nicole Curran. Though there isn’t much in the clip to deduce that Beyoncé is feeling anything other than bored during Curran and Jay-Z’s exchange, fans quickly supported what they assumed was the singer’s distaste for another female talking to her husband. That, and saying that Curran was encroaching on Beyoncé’s personal space. Please.
They’re even calling Curran “Becky with the good hair,” a reference to a woman Beyoncé sings about in “Sorry,” a song about a husband’s infidelity, assumed to be an autobiographical song.
Now, Curran has been forced to deactivate her Instagram account and avoid the internet due to honest-to-God death threats and other forms of online harassment.
The worst part? Curran was just asking Jay for his drink order. Go watch the video again -- you can tell he asks for a vodka soda and she follows up, “With lime?” Polite and accommodating!
“There was no hostility, I was trying to be a good hostess. I've never experienced cyber bullying like this,” Curran told ESPN. “I can't believe our players go through this. That kids go through this.”
Beyoncé’s team has responded to the backlash, with publicist Yvette Noel-Schure posting an angelic photo of the Carters from their On the Run II tour on Instagram accompanied by a heartfelt caption.
“Every single day on that tour I saw love. Which is why I also want to speak here to the beautiful BeyHiVE. I know your love runs deep but that love has to be given to every human,” she wrote. “It will bring no joy to the person you love so much if you spew hate in her name.”
What do we think about it?
Let’s all just chill.
First of all, how anti-feminist is it of everyone to assume that Beyoncé, who has lended her voice and music sufficiently to the women’s movement, would be offended by a woman chatting with her husband? Or if the big issue is that Curran was leaning over Queen Bey to do so, guys -- it’s loud at a basketball game!
Not to mention the sexist undertones. When Beyoncé leans over her husband to chat with another man, it’s, “Yes, queen! Deal with it, Jay!” We’re going for equality here, ladies, remember?
The Carters have been invited guests of the Warriors on a few occasions, so obviously there are no hard feelings between the couple and Curran. Rather than jump to silly, uncorroborated conclusions, why don’t we just laugh at the fact that Jay-Z is obviously watching his figure if he’s ordering a vodka soda at a basketball game? What is he, a woman in her mid-20s on a “cleanse”?
What does everyone else think?
Now that the details are coming out, rational fans are coming to Curran’s defense and even insisting that Beyoncé speak out herself. There’s a sense that the Beyhive is way too dramatic and over-the-top; what started as a meme all in good fun turned into an unhealthy obsession way too quickly.
And they’re not wrong.