Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ video: Controversy swirls around footage

Updated 6:06 AM EST, Tue February 9, 2016
SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:31
Rudy Giuliani slams Beyoncé's Super Bowl performance
YouTube/Beyonce
Now playing
01:33
Beyoncé and Jay-Z drop joint album
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14:  Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)
Now playing
00:52
Beyoncé makes history at Coachella (2018)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28:  Recording artist Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter and Beyonce attend the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)
Christopher Polk/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for NARAS
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Recording artist Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter and Beyonce attend the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)
Now playing
00:46
Blue Ivy gets in bidding war at art gala
Ted Owen & Co./YouTube
Now playing
00:58
Videos of young Beyoncé to be sold at auction
Getty/From "The Lion King"/Disney
Now playing
01:25
Beyoncé fans thrilled by 'The Lion King' reveal
CNN
Now playing
00:54
Jay-Z on Beyoncé: She's the person I love
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Now playing
01:11
Beyonce posts first photo of twins
title: TIDAL - .@S_C_'s "Family Feud" x 12/29 x #TIDAL: duration: 09:22:22 site: Twitter author: null published: Wed Dec 31 1969 19:00:00 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time) intervention: yes description: null
@TIDAL/Twitter
title: TIDAL - .@S_C_'s "Family Feud" x 12/29 x #TIDAL: duration: 09:22:22 site: Twitter author: null published: Wed Dec 31 1969 19:00:00 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time) intervention: yes description: null
Now playing
00:43
New Jay-Z video spotlights his infidelity
T Magazine
Now playing
01:25
Jay-Z opens up about cheating on Beyoncé
cnnee vo showbiz beyonce confirma embarazo de gemelos_00000905.jpg
Instagram/beyonce
cnnee vo showbiz beyonce confirma embarazo de gemelos_00000905.jpg
Now playing
00:52
Beyoncé's big announcement
Beyonce and Jay Z reveal private moments_00001904.jpg
Beyonce and Jay Z reveal private moments_00001904.jpg
Now playing
01:42
Beyonce and Jay Z reveal private moments
SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:55
Beyoncé: 'Stop killing us'
Beyonce's Creative Director John Silver proposes to her dance captain Ashley Everett at a September 10 concert in St. Louis.
Simon Venekeo/YouTube
Beyonce's Creative Director John Silver proposes to her dance captain Ashley Everett at a September 10 concert in St. Louis.
Now playing
00:52
Beyoncé sets up onstage marriage proposal
beyonce hillary clinton daughter woman president im with her cleveland ohio sot _00004515.jpg
beyonce hillary clinton daughter woman president im with her cleveland ohio sot _00004515.jpg
Now playing
01:42
Beyonce: I want my daughter to see a woman lead country
Channing Tatum (L) and his wife Jenna Dewan Tatum arrive at the premiere of Amazon's "Comrade Detective" at the Arclight Theatre on August 3, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Channing Tatum (L) and his wife Jenna Dewan Tatum arrive at the premiere of Amazon's "Comrade Detective" at the Arclight Theatre on August 3, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:19
Tatums turn up the heat on 'Lip Sync Battle'

Story highlights

"Formation" debuted Saturday to great fanfare, but a pair of filmmakers criticized Beyonce for using their footage

Director Abteen Bagheri and producer Chris Black said the video team didn't get permission from them

Beyonce's rep says the footage was legally obtained; the video director later credited the filmmakers on Twitter

(CNN) —  

Beyonce reigned over the weekend, dropping an epic video Saturday for the new song “Formation,” ahead of a planned appearance at the Super Bowl on Sunday. Controversy over the video put a dent in Queen Bey’s crown, however, after a pair of documentary filmmakers complained footage from their film was used without their input.

The spat between the filmmakers and video’s director, Melina Matsoukas, was quickly cleared up but underscores how borrowing and inspiration can blow up in an artist’s face.

Beyonce joins Diddy, Mark Wahlberg, Big Sean and others in helping Flint

Director Abteen Bagheri and producer Chris Black released the short doc “That B.E.A.T.” (contains explicit language) about New Orleans’s bounce music and dance scene in 2012. Scenes from the film were used in the “Formation” video, a dreamy ode to Beyonce’s roots in Louisiana and African American life. Amid frenetic dance numbers and Southern cotillion-style costumes, the video takes on themes such as police-involved violence, Hurricane Katrina and Creole culture.

The video debuted on the streaming service Tidal, which is owned by Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z.

Soon after its release, Black tweeted his disappointment that the video features scenes from his film, including a dramatic panning shot of a house submerged in water. The producer accused the video makers of not immersing themselves in local culture to shoot footage as his production team did with “That B.E.A.T.”

“Why Melina gotta use clips from our doc?!?” Black asked on Twitter. “Was the budget not big enough to spend a week in New Orleans and actually build with the people.”

The song features bounce’s grand dame Big Freedia, who also makes an appearance in “That B.E.A.T.”

“The funny thing is that our doc is lowkey iconic so the audacity to rip and pass it off like we not gonna notice. You outta touch b!” Black wrote.

Bagheri tweeted his displeasure, too: “I’m not mad. It’s the sad reality of the music business. Doesn’t affect my friends’ and my work, but not cool.”

Black and Bagheri acknowledged Beyonce’s team requested to use the footage, which was commissioned by Nokia and Sundance, but said they did not grant permission to use it. Yvette Noel-Schure, a representative for Beyonce, told The New York Times that the footage was legally obtained.

“The documentary footage was used with permission and licensed from the owner of the footage,” Noel-Schure said. “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 that they granted us permission.”

Matsoukas tweeted her appreciation at the filmmakers after the tweetstorm: “Must give much love to the beautiful NOLA footage shot and directed by @abteen and @lkeber to make #FORMATION whole.”

That appeared to quell the controversy for the moment, with Bagheri tweeting: “Thanks for the credit @melinamatsoukas and @Beyonce”.

Black got in one more dig: “Lol, your 500k budget wasn’t enough to make your video ‘whole’.”

It’s not the first time an artist, or Beyonce in particular, has come under fire for allegedly taking inspiration from another creative source.

Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker accused Beyonce of lifting her dance routines for the “Countdown” video in 2011.