Beyonce Slammed For Saartjie Baartman Movie
Queen Bey is facing the wrath of South Africans over the announcement that she’ll write and star in a film about Saartjie Baartman. According to The Sun, the 34-year-old songstress is penning the movie in a bid to bag an Oscar, and has hired a team of acting coaches and writers to help her produce it.
But the news has sparked outrage locally, with Chief Jean Burgess of the Ghonaqua First Peoples telling News24, ‘She lacks the basic human dignity to be worthy of writing Sarah’s story, let alone playing the part. Why Sarah Baartman? Why not a story about an Indigenous American woman? I can only see arrogance in her attempt to tell a story that is not hers to tell.’
Saartjie Baartman was a KhoiKhoi woman who was exhibited as a freak-show attraction in 19th-century Europe. She was known as the Hottentot Venus, and was sold by a Scottish doctor when she was barely in her 20s and deemed an ‘anthropological curiosity’ because of her big bum, long labia and fair skin. Baartman was the subject of a failed court case in London arguing that she was being forced to perform against her will, and was subsequently enslaved in Paris, where she later died of an unknown disease. Her body parts were exhibited in the Museum of Man for more than a century after her passing. After the ANC victory in 1994, President Nelson Mandela formally requested that her remains be returned so she could be buried in dignity – more than 200 years after her birth – at her home in the Gamtoos Valley.