Beyoncé is putting the rumors to rest. The singer has denied her involvement in a film about Saartjie Baartman.
Earlier this week, it was erroneously reported that Beyoncé would write and star in the movie about the South African woman who appeared in freak shows because of her voluptuous shape during the 1800s.
But the reports have no merit. “Beyoncé is in no way tied to this project,” her rep told Billboard in a statement. “This is an important story that should be told, however.”
Despite the false reports, the film was met with controversy. Chief Jean Burgess from Baartman’s indigenous tribe called out Beyoncé, saying she “lacks the basic human dignity to be worthy of writing Sarah’s story, let alone playing the part.”
Standing at 4 ft., 7 in. tall, Baartman was shipped to London as “property” to be shown off in exhibits across Europe under the name “Hottentot Venus.” She died in 1815 at the age of 26, five years after her arrival in Europe.
While she won’t be appearing in the Baartman film, Beyoncé’s acting credits include 2002’s Austin Powers in Goldmember, 2006’s Dreamgirls, and 2009’s Obsessed.