Tiffany Haddish claims an unidentified woman “bit” Beyoncé in the face at a function.
The time: last December. The place: the afterparty for Jay-Z’s concert in Inglewood, California. (You may recall this as the party that prompted Beyoncé to write the lyric, “If they’re tryna party with the queen, they gon’ have to sign a non-disclosure.”) The perpetrator: unknown.
Here’s what Haddish says went down:
“There was this actress there,” continues Haddish, keeping her voice low, “that’s just, like, doing the mostest.” One of the most things she did? “She bit Beyoncé in the face.”
Haddish declines to name the actress. […]
“Near the end of the party,” says Haddish, describing her final run-in with Mrs. Carter sometime later, “Beyoncé’s at the bar, so I said to Beyoncé, ‘Did she really bite you?’ She was like, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘She gonna get her ass beat tonight.’ She was like, ‘Tiffany, no. Don’t do that. That bitch is on drugs. She not even drunk. The bitch is on drugs. She not like that all the time. Just chill.’ ”
Across the internet, gossip site after gossip site became absorbed with the same burning question: What kind of person would go around biting Beyoncé?
On one level, the reason that this story is spreading far and wide is pretty clear: Someone bit arguably the biggest star in the world on her face. That’s nuts! Of course, everyone wants to know who did it!
But the story also benefits from being told by someone like Haddish, and the very specific way her celebrity interacts with Beyoncé’s.
Beyoncé, meanwhile, has built her fame on doing the exact opposite. She tells the world very little, and what she does say is tightly controlled. Beyoncé has not granted an interview to anyone in years. If she wants to announce something, she’ll stage an elaborate artistic photoshoot and then post it on her Instagram. Beyoncé sings about making her friends sign nondisclosure agreements. Beyoncé is an untouchable queen whose life we could never hope to understand, and we love her for it.
Part of what makes this particular story so compelling is the way it places these two very specific forms of celebrity into conflict: transparent versus opaque, relatable versus aspirational. It’s Tiffany Haddish at her most Woman of the People — of course if you see someone bite Beyoncé you have to tell the world — and Beyoncé at her most unknowable and untouchable: Once attacked, she tells everyone around her to stand down, and then goes and slips opaque references about what just happened into lyrics she will later drop with no announcement into someone else’s song.
Plus, you know, it’s a story about how someone bit Beyoncé on the face!