Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Anheuser-BuschBeyonce is shooting down reports — that managed to anger a South African chief — that she is planning to write and star in a film about Saartjie Baartman — the South African woman who appeared in freak shows for having a voluptuous shape during the 1800s.
“Beyonce is in no way tied to this project,” her rep tells Billboard in a statement. “This is an important story that should be told, however.”
Baartman was enslaved and exhibited under the name Hottentot Venus in the 19th century due to having a large derriere.
Jack Devnarain, chairman of the South African Guild of Actors, tells Billboard that Baartman’s story deserves recognition. “The story of Saartjie Baartman is a tale of torture and humiliation of a woman, womanhood in general and an entire culture indigenous to Southern Africa. As an episode in South African history, it describes the crippling damage of racism, sexism and exploitation,” he said. “Baartman was paraded as a freak and brutally robbed of her humanity. Her story needs to be told.”
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.