Well, well, well. What do we have here? Could it be proof that Beyonce Knowles is a human being after all. One with a first name AND a last name? Why, I think it is. And while I’m sad to learn that she’s not God, I’m also slightly relieved. But only because I had faith that God could’ve pulled off a more convincing pregnancy. After all, God performs miracles, like global floods and ’90s boy band reunion tours. A faux belly should be child’s play at this point.
What made me lose faith in our favorite deity? Well the news that she used the audio from the Challenger explosion in “XO” without getting permission from the families who lost loved ones in the disaster or from Nasa. The song starts off with the recording of a Nasa officer saying, “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction.” Which you probably didn’t know was said moments before the space shuttle exploded and everyone onboard died.
ABC News reports that family members and current NASA employees think she’s exploiting their tragedy for a pop song. And it’s hard to disagree with them. There’s no real reason she needed to include that audio. Sure, sure, she’s claiming that she did it to pay respect to them. But how, pray tell, does including that tidbit without any context pay any respect to them. As a ’90s kid, I didn’t even make the connection until I read about it this morning.
“My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster. The song ‘XO’ was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you. The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.”
While this doesn’t seem as insensitive as Justin Timberlake pretending not to know that Google exists back during his “Take Back the Night” controversy, it does reek of a celebrity pretending that she’s unaware of the implications of her actions. But since Beyonce does do so much good in this world, we’ll forgive her for this. Next time though, we won’t let her off so easy. Because c’mon, you’re better than that. Unless someone asks you to pay respect to their disaster, don’t.