UPDATE: Beyoncé is Not Making ‘Hottentot Venus’ Film

By Sameer Rao Jan 04, 2016

*Update, January 6, 2016, at 12:50 p.m. EST: 

A representative for Beyoncé told Billboard on Tuesday, January 5, that she "is in no way tied to this project," adding, "This is an important story that should be told, however." 


After staking her claim as one of the music world’s biggest and most-acclaimed superstars, Beyoncé is reportedly set to star in an upcoming movie about one of history’s most infamous examples of fetishization and exploitation. 

Britsh tabloid The Sun reports that Ms. Knowles is writing and starring in a film about Saartjie Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman who was exhibited in freak shows during the 1800s because of a fascination with her large buttocks. The case of Baartman, who was known as the Hottentot Venus, has since been invoked in descriptions of the worst aspects of Black women’s exploitation. "Hottentot" was a term the Dutch used for the Khoikhoi in what is now South Africa; the term is now considered derogatory.

Beyoncé has previously appeared in several movies, including "Dreamgirls" and "Cadillac Records." An anonymous source told The Sun that she is "desperate to be taken seriously as an actress" and hopes this film will be her breakthrough.

This new project is already being met with controversy. A chief of the First Indigenous Peoples of South Africa told South African outlet News24 that he "can only see arrogance in her attempt to tell a story that is not hers to tell."

(H/t The Sun, News24)