Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke ripped Beyoncé for bringing the mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant to the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night, telling Fox News in an interview that the pop star did so only to “use” them “as a backdrop.”
“I don’t listen to Beyoncé. I don’t buy her music, I’m a country music fan,” Sheriff Clarke said Monday morning on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom.
“It’s pretty obvious to me she used them as a backdrop,” he continued. “Look, we all love moms. Moms are great. Those moms suffered a great loss — many of their sons were involved in behavior that contributed to their own demise, but that doesn’t mean that we should come down on moms.”
“But we all know Beyoncé is a one-percenter, and all she’s trying to do is get her ‘book stamped’ that she’s down with the struggle,” Sheriff Clarke went on. “She doesn’t care about these people. How much money has she donated to any of these causes that she claims to support? It’s like any other Hollywood elitist. It’s all theater.”
Beyoncé won eight of the 11 Video Music Awards for which she was nominated Sunday night, including Video of the Year for her hit song “Formation.” The video for “Formation” featured Black Lives Matter imagery including Beyoncé singing from atop a police car submerged in water and graffiti visible on walls that read, “Stop shooting us.”
The mothers of Brown, Martin, Garner and Grant appeared on the red carpet alongside Beyoncé and her daughter Blue Ivy at Sunday night’s ceremony. The mothers all previously appeared in Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade earlier this year, holding photographs of their sons.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum