CMA Responds to Beyonce 'Deleted Performance' Outcry
An outcry from fans began Thursday afternoon (Nov. 3), after some began to notice and share on social media that social media mentions and CMA website video of the two acts’ performance of Beyonce’s “Daddy Lessons” at Wednesday night’s (Nov. 2) 50th anniversary CMA Awards ceremony had been deleted. TMZ alleged that the deletions were due to racist and rude comments being posted, but the CMA says that the footage was removed at Beyonce’s request.
“Beyonce’s team hadn’t approved that, so we pulled it down,” CMA CEO Sarah Trahern tells the New York Times of a now-deleted promotional clip that teased Beyonce’s performance, adding that the clip was removed before the performance itself. “Fans can get kind of passionate and read other things into it.”
Additionally, Trahern explains, Beyonce provided her own photographer for the evening and only approved one official live video of the song, which is available on ABC.com and has been shared on the CMA’s social media channels.
“CMA has not erased any mentions of Beyonce’s performance on the CMA Awards. In advance of the broadcast, CMA removed a five-second promotional clip from ABC.com and CMA’s Facebook page. The promo was unapproved, and CMA removed it prior to the broadcast,” the CMA says in a statement to People, echoing Trahern’s comments. “Beyonce’s performance with Dixie Chicks was a highlight of the evening, and we are continuing to share the amazing full-length performance clip via our official social channels.”
As for the backlash from fans? Trahern tells the Times that the CMA “stand by” its decision to have Beyonce and the Chicks perform, and shares that the organization has, in addition to the comments online, received phone calls, both positive and negative, about the performance.
“If a program moves people so much one way or another, I think we’ve had a successful show,” Trahern concludes. “We believe in free speech, and people can post what they’re going to post. It’s about the music, not about politics.”
While Beyonce herself has yet to speak out about the feedback, both good and bad, from her CMA Awards performance, the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines has been active on Twitter: “Hey everybody! The CMAs just called and asked us to co-host next year’s show with Beyonce. Unfortunately I’ve got a thing that night so, no,” Maines tweeted on Thursday night, before following it up with some of Beyonce’s lyrics.
On the Dixie Chicks’ official account, meanwhile, the trio shared a link to the studio version of their collaboration with Beyonce and wrote, “If we all turn this up really loud, together we can drown out the hate.”