Today, being a publicist for one of the biggest stars in the world means asking fans not to “spew hate” at those who have the misfortune of appearing to cross your client. That fate befell Nicole Curran, the woman who leaned over Beyoncé to talk to Jay-Z (she was, reportedly, asking for his drink order) at the NBA finals on Wednesday. Beyoncé’s publicist Yvette Noel-Schure has now stepped in to remind everyone their online harassment is not something Beyoncé would ever cosign.
Curran says she has been receiving death threats since Wednesday, when the clip of her making small talk with Jay-Z (talking over Beyoncé who, indeed, looks visibly annoyed) went viral, according to an interview she gave ESPN. To set the record straight about what Beyoncé would and would not like her fans to do, Noel-Schure shared a message on Instagram, gently reminding the Beyhive that cyberbullying falls in the latter category.
Noel-Schure paired the message with a photo of Bey and Jay-Z in a loving embrace, and asked her fans to think of the couple’s love every time they get the itch to be mean:
“[The On The Run II Tour] was a place of joy, unimaginable entertainment from two of the best performers in the world, and a place of love. Every single day on that tour I saw love. Which is why I also want to speak here to the beautiful BeyHiVE. I know your love runs deep but that love has to be given to every human. It will bring no joy to the person you love so much if you spew hate in her name. We love you.”
If Curran, who made her Instagram private after the viral moment, is indeed getting death threats, it just goes to show how fandoms can weaponize themselves against anyone who appears to be outside of it, often without consideration of what the artist they say they admire so much actually wants. No one knows what Beyoncé is actually thinking in that clip—she hasn’t commented publicly on the situation—but what started as funny meme now seems to have become untenable—or at least, a bad enough PR situation for Beyoncé that Noel-Schure publicly commented, something she very rarely does. (In 2013, she asked BuzzFeed to take down supposedly unflattering photos of Beyoncé from its Super Bowl coverage; she also wrote a long statement to Gossip Cop in 2017, shutting down MediaTakeOut’s suggestion that Beyoncé had had lip injections while pregnant.)
Will the Beyhive actually stop? We don’t know, but it is Friday and taking a walk outside is free!