Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani offered a blistering critique of Beyoncé’s politically-charged MTV Video Music Awards performance Sunday night, saying in an interview Monday that as a tough-on-crime mayor of America’s biggest city, he has saved far more “black lives” than Beyoncé.
Beyoncé — who took home eight of the 11 VMAs she was nominated for on Sunday night, including Video of the Year for her hit song “Formation” — performed a 16-minute medley of hits from her Black Lives Matter-inspired visual album Lemonade. At one point, the singer’s backup dancers fell in turn while being bathed in red light, a simulation of being “shot down” one by one.
“You’re asking the wrong person because I had five uncles who were police officers, two cousins who were, one who died in the line of duty,” Giuliani said in an appearance on Fox and Friends Monday after he was asked about the singer’s performance.
“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 on stage by reducing crime, and particularly homicide, by 75 percent,” he added.
Giuliani went on to call Beyoncé’s Sunday night performance “a shame.”
The former mayor has been a particularly vocal critic of both the singer’s politically charged music and performances and the larger Black Lives Matter movement.
After the singer’s politically-charged Super Bowl halftime show earlier this year, Giuliani called the Black Panther tribute performance an “attack on police officers.” He has previously called the Black Lives Matter movement “inherently racist” and “anti-American.”
Meanwhile, Beyoncé has embraced the Black Lives Matter movement, incorporating many of its themes and messages into her most recent album. At the VMAs Sunday night, the singer was joined on the red carpet by the “Mothers of the Movement” — the mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant.
Earlier this year, the streaming service Tidal, owned by Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z, donated $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter and other social justice-related organizations.
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