“Family Feud” video leads to a feud between the Catholic League and Jay-Z
Jay-Z’s star-studded, Ava Duvernay directed video for the song “Family Feud” from his Grammy-nominated album 4:44 isn’t even a week old and has already drawn criticism and controversy. The latest is from a Catholic rights organization called Catholic League, whose President Bill Donahue has found Jay-Z’s video to be “gratuitous” and “exploitative.”
Donuhue’s full statement reads:
A video trailer is supposed to be a teaser, but in this case it falls flat, leading nowhere.
Jay-Z’s recently released “Family Feud” video shows him walking into a Catholic church with his real-life daughter, rapping away—”Nobody wins when the family feuds”—as he struts. This is followed by a flashback scene where he is shown kissing a gal in her undergarments. Then Beyoncé appears, standing at the pulpit, wearing a navy blue outfit dressed like a queen. She is a priestess: she hears Jay-Z’s confession, apparently a statement on his real-life infidelities. Is it anti-Catholic? No, it is not a bigoted assault. Indeed, it pales next to Jay-Z’s relentlessly racist (and anti-black) lyrics. But it is nonetheless gratuitous as well as exploitative, just the kind of thing we would expect from this genius couple.
A self-described religious and civil rights organization for a Catholic Church that has not always been accepting of Black people calling out Jay-Z for being “anti-Black” is laughable at best and hypocritical and violent at worst. Though the video leans heavily on a religious motif of confession and imagery associated with the Russian Orthodox period and positions Blue Ivy Carter as a kind of “leader of the new school” it is extremely odd that an organization allegedly devoted to religious and civil rights would attempt to punch outside of its weight class and criticize Jay-Z for “racist and anti-Black” lyrics.
Here is the trailer for “Family Feud”.