Beyoncé Calls Out Music Industry Discrimination In Virtual Graduation Speech

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Beyoncé performing at Coachella 2018. Photo Credit: Thephilipmicah

During YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 virtual commencement event, Beyoncé took aim at ongoing discrimination in the music industry and the wider entertainment sphere.

Speaking against an all-gray backdrop before what was apparently a professional-grade camera (many other celebrities submitted comparatively relaxed clips), Beyoncé opened her speech by congratulating the 2020 class for graduating amid the coronavirus crisis and while nationwide protests continue to unfold over the death of George Floyd.

After that, the 38-year-old relayed that she didn’t attend college, but called on graduates to thank their family members and communities for supporting them during their educational journeys.

Segueing to her own story, Beyoncé highlighted “a pivotal turning point” in her life, when she chose to build her own company “many years ago.” (The business in question is presumably her management and entertainment firm, Parkwood Entertainment, which was founded in 2010 and still operates today. However, Beyoncé created entertainment and fashion brand Beyond Productions, LLC, in 2004 and sold the asset in 2011.)

Addressing discrimination specifically when describing her company’s start, Beyoncé said: “The entertainment business is still very sexist. It’s still very male-dominated, and as a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to do what I knew I had to do. To run my label and management company, to direct my films and produce my tools, that meant ownership. Owning my masters, owning my art, owning my future, and writing my own story.”

Throughout the remainder of the 10-minute-long speech, Beyoncé offered words of encouragement to aid graduates as they pursue their respective careers and professional goals.

An array of other artists, including Katy Perry, Lizzo, Alicia Keys, BTS, and Lady Gaga, spoke and/or performed during the more than 270-minute-long Dear Class of 2020 event. Barack and Michelle Obama also appeared, as did comedian John Mulaney and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, to name just some.

Last week, Digital Music News was first to report that Jay-Z had lent his private jet to Ahmaud Arbery’s lawyers so that they could appear for a court hearing.

17 Responses

  1. restless94110

    So a black person at the very top of the music industry, the very top of which is full of black people is complaining that her race is discriminated against? Seriously? What is wrong with her?

  2. I cant stand you

    The industry has opened it’s legs wide for Bey… They wont like her speaking poorly about them. Especially since she’s a complete phony hack indi plant and has worn the black cause like a costume!
    Fuck Bey Fuck Jay Fuck The Industry
    You all deserve each other!
    Burn in hell

    • Ignacio

      Yet you cared enough to comment. Brilliant move, Einstein.

  3. STFU

    Mrs I’m Black Yall
    Had members of Destiny’s Child tan
    So she would be the lightest in the group
    and gain favor over her masters….

    For A Cookie?

    Where was her black power then?
    Look online she steals EVERYTHING
    there are a bunch of legitimate claims that she stole their work…

    Where is her black power as she allows her husband to pretend he has NO OTHER CHILDREN of which he does and they are female? Where is her black power there?

    Celebrities Need To Sit Down Now!

    • Julius Marvin Smith

      Yeah, if you’re a black celebrity, or if you’re black and you’ve worked hard and achieved anything you have no right to be upset that an entire race of people – your race – is oppressed and discriminated against.

      You’re an idiot.

  4. Lip Singing Kills

    Didn’t Edda James have to publicly come out and tell her to stop singing her song?
    what about that! what about discriminating against singers who are older
    in favor for these… directives like Beyonce
    That was not a good look…

    • Pauly

      Etta (sp) was discriminated against. Ageism is a real thing, like racism, like gender bias, etc.

  5. 9

    Saying they are oppressed does not make it so. The facts contradict their narrative. Narrative- story telling for political gain.

    • Kik

      No, but history and fact do. Try opening a real book some time.

      • Anonymous

        Lthis ni?️?️a trying to read and tell others to cuase he WUZ A KANG N SHEEE Lol

  6. Joe Sixpack

    Blacks have more opportunity than they have ever had in the US. Yet, they choose gangbanging and ghettos.

    Funny how Asians and Latinos seem to do well in the US. Perhaps it is because they work and do not endlessly scream racism?

    Fuck Black Lies Matter.

    • Anonymous

      The on,y opportunity these ni?️?️as have is to die from shooting each other and blaming it on others lol