Beyoncé spoke on protests, sexism in the entertainment industry, and more during the “Dear Class of 2020” virtual graduation ceremony.
Beyoncé used her speech during Barack and Michelle Obama’s “Dear Class of 2020” YouTube virtual graduation ceremony to address protesters, sexism in the music industry, and more.
After thanking the Obama’s for the platform and congratulating the graduating class of 2020, Beyoncé spoke about the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Abery, and Bronna Talyor: “Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the worlds know that black lives matter,” she said. “The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others have left us all broken. It has left the entire country searching for answers. We’ve seen that our collective hearts, when put to positive action, could start the wheels of change. Real change has started with you, this new generation of high school and college graduates who we celebrate today.”
From there, Beyoncé discussed the role of women in the entertainment industry: “The entertainment business is still very sexist,” she explained. “It’s still very male-dominated and as a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to what I knew I had to do. To run my label and management company, to direct my films and produce my tours, that meant ownership—owning my masters, owning my art, owning my future, and writing my own story. Not enough black women had a seat at the table. So I had to go and chop down that wood and build my own table. Then I had to invite the best there was to have a seat. That meant hiring women, men outsiders, underdogs, people that were overlook and waiting to be seen.”
Check out the rest of Beyoncé’s speech below.