The 41-year-old singer reportedly accepted a $24 million payment for the show, per The Daily Mail.
“Beyoncé is a huge icon for many gay people,” LGB Alliance co-founder Bev Jackson told The Telegraph Sunday. “LGB Alliance is deeply therefore disappointed that Beyoncé has agreed to give a lucrative concert in Dubai, where same-sex sex acts are a criminal offense, potentially punishable by death.”
Many fans pointed out that Beyoncé had previously mentioned her uncle, “the most fabulous gay man” she knows, during her 2019 GLAAD Media Awards acceptance speech.
“He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn’t as accepting,” the Grammy Award winner said, in part, during her speech.
“Witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever lived. I’m hopeful that his struggles serve to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights.”
Many social media critics were especially upset that Beyoncé would perform in Dubai because, in their estimation, she doesn’t need the money.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Kitty Scott-Claus posted to Twitter, “Hi I have a question … can someone explain why everyone was canceling David Beckham the other month but now celebrating Beyoncé for performing in Dubai? One rule for one and one for another?”
Hi I have a question.. can someone explain why everyone was cancelling David Beckham the other month but now celebrating Beyoncé for performing in Dubai? One rule for one and one for another?
— Kitty Scott-Claus (@kittyscottclaus) January 22, 2023
Plenty of others agreed with that sentiment.
“When you’re that rich … largely, if not entirely, through the fierce loyalty of LGBTQ+ fans – what amount of money is simply too much to turn down to perform in a homophobic country?” one Twitter user wrote.
“Beyoncé isn’t [an] LGBTQ+ ally when she’s performing for money in Dubai and she literally doesn’t need a penny of it,” another agreed.
Though the singer banned phones and other recording devices from the venue, footage from her Dubai show leaked on social media following the performance. Beyoncé’s 11-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, took to the stage to perform the song “Brown Skin Girl,” which won a Grammy Award in 2021.
“Where are all my brown skin girls? Give it up for my baby, my brown skin girl, Miss Blue Ivy Carter,” Beyoncé can be heard saying in one of the recordings.
She staged the concert to help launch a new hotel in Dubai, The Atlantis Royal. She last performed live in December 2018.