Yesha Callahan

Beyoncé Is Actually ‘In No Way Tied To’ The Saartjie Baartman Project

Getty Images/

Getty Images/

Looks like everyone jumped the gun a bit the other day when they reported that Beyoncé was planning to write and star in her own movie about the life of Saartjie Baartman. After one too many stories circulated on the Internet, Bey’s rep put out a statement saying:

“Beyoncé is in no way tied to this project. This is an important story that should be told, however.”

While this news may disappoint some of you, one person that is likely pleased is Chief of the Ghonaqua First Peoples of South Africa, Jean Burgess. When asked about the rumored movie project, he told News 24 in South Africa:

“She lacks the basic human dignity to be worthy of writing Sarah’s story, let alone playing the part. Ignoring the fact that the KhoiKhoi is alive and that Sarah’s story would have an impact on how we are portrayed, is a mistake of great magnitude. 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 her’s to tell.”

From the sounds of things, Bey already knew better than to attempt that.

  1. January 6, 2016 - Reply

    “She lacks basic human dignity…” I guess the irony of that statement is lost on Mr. Burgess considering the subject at hand. I’m also confused as to how a story about an American Indian woman would be Beyonce’s story to tell? Anyhow, I’m glad it turned out to be a rumour. I love Bey, but no….just, no.

    • January 6, 2016 - Reply


      Bartman was South African from the khoi people

      • January 6, 2016 - Reply



    • January 6, 2016 - Reply


      Although I get where you’re coming from, l think his comment about her being native american is extremely ironic given how Beyonce has been so outspoken about her native and creole lineage in order to cross over to pop music. I also am wondering if he is attempting to deny Beyonce of her blackness/african heritage because she is american or if he said that out of ignorance.

  2. January 6, 2016 - Reply

    Whatever. She’s not slick. I think she was set to do it, but had her people leak it to see the reaction and then when the reaction wasn’t favorable, she issued that statement.

    • January 6, 2016 - Reply


      Exactly what I was going to say…..the situation is much too specific and came from nowhere. It’s not really a scandal or anything so why would someone make this up.

  3. January 6, 2016 - Reply

    ‘She lacks the basic human dignity to be worthy of writing Sarah’s story, let alone playing the part.’


    • January 6, 2016 - Reply


      Right, like well damn don’t mince words here. But to be fair this rumor did come from the Sun which isn’t an exactly reliable news outlet.

    • January 6, 2016 - Reply


      What a disgusting thing to say

  4. January 6, 2016 - Reply


  5. January 6, 2016 - Reply

    I wonder if Beyonce even knows anything about Sarah Baartman (prior to the rumor, anyway…) She doesn’t impress me to be the African history researching type. I’m not saying she’s not smart, just not interested in certain topics. I was surprised when I first read that she would be involved in a movie about Sarah and was even willing to see the movie provided it was historically accurate and well produced. I’m not surprised that it turned out to be a rumor, though.

  6. January 6, 2016 - Reply

    Certainly, the story of Saartjie Baartman should be told eloquently and with a great deal of respect. This news will certainly cause relief among some. It is one thing to disagree with Beyonce having a role in the film. People have the right to like or not like Beyonce. What can’t be denied is that Beyonce can sing and she is a very talented entertainer. She should be treated with dignity and with respect just like anyone else. Me personally, another woman would be best to portray Saartjie Baartman other than Beyonce. I have no hatred of Yonce. Massive, accurate research should be done, great performances executed, and respect to the human dignity of Saartijie ought to be shown in any film about Saartijie Baartman. She or Saartijie suffered unspeakable horrors, but her spirit is still with us. Her courage was amazing and the agenda of racists will never prevail in the end. Also, another point is to be made. We all know the point and we have to go there. There should be no unnecessary tensions among people of the African Diaspora. We have to have more cooperation and discussions with each other in the Diaspora, so we can grow understanding and implement more unity which is needed for liberation.

  7. January 6, 2016 - Reply

    So why the hell did you post it?

  8. January 6, 2016 - Reply

    Beyonce is good doing what she does singing but i am relieved she isn’t doing this project.

  9. January 6, 2016 - Reply

    wow … it’s too bad chief burgess didn’t have a serious talk with Boglarka
    Balogh before she published her pictures.

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