Bey’s Rep Smacks Down Accusations That ‘Formation’ Used Stolen Footage

A Los Angeles-based filmmaker is accusing Beyoncé of ripping footage from his documentary for her new video Formation, which, if you still haven’t seen it by now, is a straight-up visual masterpiece.

Hnnnnnnnggg. Gifs credit.
So after Bey did what she always does (y’know, casually dropping a masterpiece to no fanfare whatsoever including that time she surprised everyone by being heaps pregnant and then casually dropped Blue Ivy, HEYOOO), filmmaker Chris Black took to Twitter, claiming that Formation used clips from his documentary about New Orleans bounce music, That B.E.A.T., without proper licensing.

Like, there’s no doubt that pieces of his footage were used. The house toppled in the river? The shirtless dude gyrating into a mirror? Both Black’s.

He then took aim at Melina Matsoukas, who directed Formation.

But it looks like there’s a case of crossed signals going on here. According to Bey’s people, they had complete permission to use the footage. Her rep gave the following statement to Entertainment Weekly:

“The documentary footage as used with permission and licensed from the owner of the footage. They were given proper compensation. The footage was provided to us by the filmmaker’s production company. The filmmaker is listed in the credits for additional photography direction. We are thankful they granted us permission.”

It turns out that the doco was commissioned by Nokia and Sundance, and therefore all rights go to them. Black confirmed he was contacted by Lily Keber of Mairzy Doats Productions to let him know his footage was being used in an undisclosed artist’s music video.

Not long after this incident began blowing up, Matsoukas tweeted her gratitude to Black and Keber:

Black was less-than-impressed:

Keber, Nokia and Sundance have yet to make a comment.

Beyoncé – ‘Formation’