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What the Hell Happened: Beyoncé at Taylor Swift’s Film Premiere

Beyoncé Knowles performing during "The Beyoncé Experience" in Munich, Germany.
Beyoncé Knowles performing during "The Beyoncé Experience" in Munich, Germany. By Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
By Elizabeth E. Choi, Contributing Writer

One of the biggest pop culture moments of the early 2000s was the infamous incident when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift as she was accepting her MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video saying, “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”

When Beyoncé won Video of the Year later that night, she invited Swift to return onstage and finish her speech. The two then shared a hug, marking the start of a relationship built on mutual respect that persists to today. Since the Kanye incident in 2009, Beyoncé attended Swift’s 25th birthday party, Swift gushed over Beyoncé in interviews, and both have publicly cheered each other on.

However, the VMA incident and the celebrities’ simultaneous success as the two most prominent female artists in the industry also led Swifties, the BeyHive, and other onlookers to pit the artists against each other. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion on who is the better singer or songwriter, but many often attack the other with unnecessary vitriol.

More recently, there has been much argument over the significance of Swift’s Eras Tour versus Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour. For those who are not caught up on the latest occurrences in the music industry, the Eras Tour is Swift’s monumental sixth concert tour that crashed Ticketmaster, generated the seismic activity of a 2.3-magnitude earthquake, and filled the news and social media. The Renaissance World Tour, Beyoncé’s first solo tour since 2016, began a few months afterward and made history as the highest-grossing tour by a Black artist at over $579 million. Promoting her seventh studio album “Renaissance,” the tour received critical acclaim and, like the Eras Tour, was a cultural phenomenon.

The comparisons between the women heightened when Beyoncé declared that there would be a documentary concert film of the Renaissance World Tour just weeks following Swift’s own announcement of the Eras Tour concert film. But at the premiere of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” Beyoncé made a surprise arrival to support her fellow star, even though she rarely appears on the red carpet anymore.

Swift posted a boomerang of them on Instagram, stating in her caption, “I’m so glad I’ll never know what my life would’ve been like without @beyonce’s influence.”

It’s clear that there is no personal animosity between Swift and Beyoncé. There can be two talented and prominent women in the music industry at the same time — it is pointless and unproductive to try to minimize someone’s achievements to highlight another’s. Beyoncé’s attendance at Swift’s premiere was a sign to the media and fans unfairly creating drama that she respects her peers as well as a reminder that one can always choose to uplift those around them instead of tearing them down.

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