Target: Jennifer Ogole, CEO of London-based radio station, Bang Radio
Goal: Applaud radio station’s removal of offensive lyric that glorifies spousal abuse
International superstar Beyonce Knowles is a self-identified feminist and her most recent album, also named Beyonce, is in large part a powerful celebration of feminist ideas and actions. Beyonce generally serves as an inspiring image and role model, but it doesn’t mean that every one of her choices is admirable or even neutrally inoffensive. It is important to draw attention to her mistakes as well as her successes in order to build a more thorough understanding of modern feminism.
A case in point would be her truly horrible choice to include an offensive reference to a famously abusive relationship in her latest hit song, Drunk in Love. In a duet with her husband, rapper Jay Z, he says the line, “I’m Ike Turner, turn up/Baby know I don’t play/Now eat the cake, Anna Mae”. This is a disturbing reference to the biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It, in which Ike Turner physically forces his wife Tina Turner, who was originally named Anna Mae, to eat cake and then physically assaults an employee who attempts to intervene. It is a harrowing look into the now-famous domestic abuse of the relationship. Tina Turner would go on to attempt suicide after years of horrific cruelty at the hands of her deranged husband. Jay Z is apparently using the intimation of abuse in a thoroughly misguided sexual reference.
Bang Radio, a London-based radio station, removed the lyric before playing the song. Company CEO Jennifer Ogole explained in a statement that the lyric was cut because “the lyrics controversially imitate a scene of severe domestic violence within the film, displaying promotion of domestic violence against women. In this light Bang [refuses] to play the song lyrics from henceforth on our station… We believe in the unity of women and music and in no way condone violence, domestic or otherwise, especially not through the power of music.”
Please sign this petition to applaud Bang Radio’s decision to edit offensive and harmful lyrics out of this song, and to support the struggle against the glorification of domestic violence.
Dear Jennifer Ogole, CEO of Bang Radio,
Thank you for your recent decision to cut the insulting lyrics glorifying domestic violence from Beyonce’s recent single “Drunk in Love”. As a purveyor of music media, Bang Radio has a responsibility to ensure the material you promote does not have a harmful or dangerous message, and it is refreshing to see a company taking that responsibility so seriously.
While the government should not impede on our right to free speech and creation, it is perfectly justified for a business to make the social and financial decision to edit a product that they find damaging or insulting, and in fact changes in media representation is the cornerstone of social change. When more and more businesses find that sexism and misogyny are not so lucrative anymore, the international conversation will change for the better.
Please keep up the good work and continue to promote an atmosphere of equality and non-violence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: idrewuk via Wikimedia Commons