American singer Madison Beer has denied claims that she arranged a photoshoot at a Black Lives Matter protest, after receiving criticism for "performance activism" online. She was at a protest in Los Angeles when a photographer called Josh, who uses the Instagram handle @jvshvisions, took snaps of her posing on top of a car, holding a 'No freedom until we're equal' sign.
The photographer in question has previously pictured Madison and many other celebrities, such as Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber, going about their daily lives in the city. However, after these particular images of Madison were shared online they were met with a huge amount of frustration and upset from those who believed she could be using a vital moment in history for self-promotion.
It's understandable that there would be upset - as this cause should only be used to highlight the hugely important issues at play, and never be used as a tool for self-promotion. But Madison has strong denied - when it comes her actions - that this is not the case.
i did not lie. this photographer is spreading unclear information about me. these are our messages. i will not allow anyone to make me protesting day after day into something it is NOT. i am out here for one reason only. i will not allow it to be spun into something it never was. pic.twitter.com/ruXT9XqGtO— madison beer (@madisonbeer) June 3, 2020
Tweeting screenshots of a conversation she had with Josh, Madison added: "I did not lie. This photographer is spreading unclear information about me. These are our messages. I will not allow anyone to make me protesting day after day into something it is NOT. I am out here for one reason only. I will not allow it to be spun into something it never was."
The photographer is shown to say in the message "I'm not sure why people think that when it's clearly untrue" and said he was "being sarcastic" when he told press the pictures were staged.
Madison has been vocal with her support for Black Lives Matter since the harrowing video of George Floyd's death began gaining worldwide attention and sparking a global chain of protests. She has shared multiple petitions and resources online, while encouraging her followers to get involved in fighting against racial inequality.
Keen to defend Madison, one Twitter user, with the handle @erikaceja, said, "Completely false rumors. I ran into Madison as well two days ago in Santa Monica as I was also out there documenting what is going on. I was standing next to her as she was tear gassed. She’s been out fighting for this since it started. Don’t believe everything you read."
Completely false rumors. I ran into Madison as well two days ago in Santa Monica as I was also out there documenting what is going on. I was standing next to her as she was tear gassed. She’s been out fighting for this since it started. Don’t believe everything you read. pic.twitter.com/I0AYme6NNM— Erika Ceja (@erikaaceja) June 2, 2020
Millions of people posted a black square to Instagram in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement, but it's vital that these posts are followed up with real action too. This doesn't only come in the form of protests, but by reading books about Black history and by non-white authors to broaden your knowledge of the experiences of others. There are also many worthy organisations that you can donate to, both US and UK-based.
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