Beyoncé electrified an otherwise subdued MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night with her 15-minute medley of tracks from her latest “visual album,” Lemonade. But former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was offended by the singer’s allusions to racial injustice and police killings – particularly the vignette during “Pray You Catch Me” in which a group of backing dancers fell to the ground one by one, encircled by red lights, as if shot dead. “It’s a shame; it’s a shame,” the politician told Fox News’ Fox & Friends Monday.
“You’re asking the wrong person [what they think of the performance] because I had five uncles who were police officers, two cousins who were – one who died in the line of duty,” Giuliani said. “I ran the largest and best police department in the world, the New York City Police Department. And I saved more black lives than any of those people you saw onstage by reducing crime – and particularly homicide – by 75 percent, of which maybe four or five thousand were African-American young people who are alive today because of the policies I put in effect that weren’t in effect for 35 years.
“So if you’re going to do that, you also should symbolize why the police officers are in those neighborhoods,” he continued. “And what are you going to do about that? And what are you doing about it? To me, it’s two easy answers: a much better education and a good job. And what the heck have you done?”
Co-host Brian Kilmeade echoed Giuliani’s criticisms, saying, “Beyoncé is an extremely popular and powerful performer, and when she does stuff like that, that message to the next generation is pretty indelible.”
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Prior to the awards, Beyoncé brought out Lezley McSpadden, Gwen Carr, Wanda Johnson and Sybrina Fulton — the mothers of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin, respectively – on the show’s red carpet.
Giuliani previously criticized Beyoncé’s performance during the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which featured Black Panthers-inspired outfits and gestures and an on-field “X” formation to honor Malcolm X. Speaking to Fox News, the former New York mayor called the epic display “a platform to attack police officers.”