Erykah Badu Suggests “Racist” Gay Men Are Behind Criticism Of Her Performance For King Of Swaziland

And then she called one of her critics “satan.”

Singer Erykah Badu implied that “racist” gay males are behind criticism of her recent appearance at the birthday party of the king of the south African country of Swaziland in a series of tweets posted on Thursday and Friday.

The tweets came in response to a column posted at Slate by Pedro Pizano and Jeffrey Smith, who wrote that Badu’s “response to being called out for” performing for “Swaziland’s brutal dictator” was “worse than the performance itself.” Pizano used to do communications for the Human Rights Foundation now and has a small firm consulting on human rights issues. Smith is an advocacy officer with the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.

King Mswati III is alleged to be behind abuses including targeted killings of his political opponents, the torture and disappearances of pro-democracy advocates, and the banning of all political parties. Pizano and Smith also note that Badu performed not far from the jail where journalist Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko are being held for “criticizing the lack of an independent judiciary.”

ID: 2880468

The exchange appears to have begun after Pizano responded to this tweet from Badu:

ID: 2882344
ID: 2882342

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Badu wrote:

ID: 2880461

Pizano responded:

What?!! “@fatbellybella: @pedropizano are you gay? Curious? No jokes?”

— Pedro Pizano (@pedropizano)
ID: 2882326

Seriously. “@pedropizano: What?!! “@fatbellybella: @pedropizano are you gay? Curious? No jokes?””

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2882327

.@fatbellybella I refuse to answer this demeaning question. It's insulting and offensive to me and all my friends.

— Pedro Pizano (@pedropizano)
ID: 2882328

(Pizano got some criticism because his remark appeared to suggest being gay was something shameful, but he told BuzzFeed “I meant exactly the opposite.” It is “insulting to all my gay friends” for her to raise questions of sexuality as part of a “character assassination” that “doesn’t have anything to do with what we’re discussing.”)

ID: 2882544

Badu persisted:

I just wondered because .. I wonder if u know how it feels to be ostracized for only being YOURSELF. @Smith_RFKennedy @pedropizano

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2880457

@pedropizano well are you PEDRO. If you are ashamed its okay .but I want to show you something.

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2880455

@Smith_RFKennedy so long THIRSTon Howell III.

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2882309

@Smith_RFKennedy hahahhaha . Twerking for the king. I love it . So creative

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2880452

And then began tweets suggesting the authors were motivated by racism:

--->>>>@Smith_RFKennedy devils are easy to spot in any color.

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2880451

@Smith_RFKennedy btw I'm not a pop icon. But I like the twerk thing . Very racist of u.

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2880448

And then she came back to the gay thing when a follower asked how she knew who was gay without asking:

I don't know .. I use to be a dancer .. Go figure. Can just tell..:-)) @Speeeday @JONATHANTNOWAK @Smith_RFKennedy

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2883160

@AdamJKovac why do gays hate me?

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2880463

Then, when Pizano started tweeting the Slate story to other writers — proud of his first story for the publication — Badu started up again:

@AlecJRoss Alec: my latest (but my first) for @Slate: "Why Does Erykah Badu (@fatbellybella) Perform for #Dictators?

— Pedro Pizano (@pedropizano)
ID: 2882566

@pedropizano >a struggling writter who wants to be a STAR.. Masked as a political activist, He used my blood to publish his FIRST BIG PEice.

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2882212

@pedropizano good job. & you're welcome. Thank you for the free pub. Even other gay people see thru you. Your giving love a bad name kid.

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2882218

@pedropizano @JonEForeman @Slate BOY STICK TO BLOGGING. You are NO JOURNALIST. Trust .lol .. But don't let your dream end with me. Lol

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2882221

@pedropizano here.. ill help u. HEY! Everybody read Pedro's sweeeeet little piece. VOTE FOR PEDRO... face . Lol

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2882228

And then she called Pizano “satan”:

ID: 2896333

@danyasteele @fatbellybella we'd love her more if she didn't sing for dictators.

— Pedro Pizano (@pedropizano)
ID: 2882613

@pedropizano I don't need your conditional love Satan

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella)
ID: 2882580

Check out more articles on!

J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. His secure PGP fingerprint is 1E6E D0AA 63D9 4B28 85AB 2133 CD52 1D31 F20D 2596
Contact J. Lester Feder at

More News

More News

Now Buzzing