The video: Is Beyonce a copycat? The accusation has plagued the singer before, with cries that her "Single Ladies" video clearly stole iconic Bob Fosse dance moves. And a recent performance of "Run the World (Girls)" allegedly ripped off a similar stage show by an Italian singer. Now, esteemed Belgian choreographer Teresa De Keersmaeker is charging plagiarism, arguing that Beyonce's "Countdown" video, released last week, steals choreography, costuming, and staging from two of her own pieces: "Rosas danst Rosas" and "Achterland." A helpful YouTube video intersperses the key "Countdown" moves with De Keersmaeker's work. (See the comparison below.) For her part, Beyonce says her video was inspired by "Rosas danst Rosas," but rejects accusations that it was plagiarized.
The reaction: The "Copycat Queen" can't deny that this is "blatant imitation," says Thy Black Man. She needs to "stop passing off other people's work as her own." Hold on, says Emily Abbate at The Stir. The video is "more of a tribute to the original than a slap in the face." Despite similarities, Beyonce "throws her own flair into the mix." Everyone knows that "works of art often reference other works of art," agrees Luke Jennings at the U.K.'s Guardian. Besides, says Luke Jennings at the U.K.'s Guardian, Beyonce's video also draws inspiration from Audrey Hepburn, Flashdance, and the Supremes. Still, maybe it's time she "at least paid [other artists] and/or asked for their permission before sampling their work." See for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- What I learned from totally unplugging and shutting up for three days
- The rise of the global middle class is our best hope to stop climate change
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
Subscribe to the Week