In the feature, journalist Richard Godwin raises the subject of Beyoncé’s 2016 Super Bowl performance with M.I.A., who Godwin reports “didn’t see the performance, but doesn’t feel like she could have missed anything."
M.I.A. is then quoted as saying: "It's interesting that in America the problem you're allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter. It's not a new thing to me—it's what Lauryn Hill was saying in the 1990s, or Public Enemy in the 1980s. Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That's a more interesting question. And you cannot ask it on a song that's on Apple, you cannot ask it on an American TV programme, you cannot create a tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama isn't going to hump you back.”
This morning, April 21, M.I.A. clarified her comments on Black Lives Matter in two Twitter posts:
A#blacklivesmatter B#Muslimlivesmatter. I'm not Muslim . My criticism wasn't about Beyoncé. It's how u can say A not B right now in 2016.— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) April 21, 2016
My question was,on American platforms what do they allow you to stand up for in 2016. This has been the number 1 question for me.— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) April 21, 2016
Elsewhere in the ES Magazine feature, M.I.A. shares an update on her legal situation with French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, who filed a formal complaint against the artist in December 2015 for wearing a knock-off of their jersey in her “Borders” video, which was doctored to read 'Fly Pirates.’ “I haven’t heard anything since then,” the artist said. “It’s awesome. The support I got from my fans actually made them go away. I’m going to do that all the time now, ha-ha!”
The FADER has reached out to M.I.A. and the editor of ES Magazine for comment.
Update: 4/21/16, 10:00 a.m. EST.
In the wake of M.I.A.'s comments this morning, a number of folks have responded to her tweets, including Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson.
M.I.A.'s tweet suggests that American media "allows" us to talk Black Lives Matter and not Muslims. She hasn't a single clue.— Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) April 21, 2016
Getting real tired of people shitting on BLM movement cause "how come they are not talking about (insert random issue)". Um, excuse me?— BlackityBlackYall (@isitis) April 21, 2016
Tired of the divisiveness. Tired of the struggle vs struggle arguments. Tired of everyone not understanding unity is the only way.— Sahar Karimian (@SaharKarimian) April 21, 2016
yo talking bout being black and being Muslim like they're two different things, like some people aren't both— ⛓MBK⛓ (@GrandeMarshall) April 21, 2016
What MIA need to do is be speaking up against anti blackness in her own damn culture— ｂｌａｃｋ ａｎｔｉｈｅｒｏ™ (@HE_VALENCIA) April 21, 2016