There have been rumours swirling that pop-queen Beyonce would be writing and starring in a film about Saartjie (Sarah) Baartman – the South African woman who appeared in freak shows because of her physical features during the 1800s – her rep is denying her involvement.
Her rep told Billboard in a statement on Tuesday (Jan. 5).
“Beyonce is in no way tied to this project, this is an important story that should be told, however.”
The news that Beyonce was involved in the story received backlash from fans and prominent leaders in South Africa.
Jack Devnarain, chairman of the South African Guild of Actors, echoed Beyonce’s sentiment, telling Billboard over e-mail that Baartman’s story deserves recognition.
“The story of Saartjie Baartman is a tale of torture and humiliation of a woman, womanhood in general and an entire culture indigenous to Southern Africa. As an episode in South African history, it describes the crippling damage of racism, sexism and exploitation,” he said. “Baartman was paraded as a freak and brutally robbed of her humanity. Her story needs to be told.”