Culture

We Will Not Rest Until We Know Who Bit Beyoncé In The Face

This is the greatest mystery of the 21st century.

In an juicy profile released in GQ overnight, actress Tiffany Haddish revealed a very interesting piece of information: last year Beyoncé was bitten on the face at a party by an actress Haddish declined to name. The internet is now basically on fire with suspicion and a trembling, aroused curiosity as to the identity of the phantom biter.

It feels like the kind of smoky, stifling dawn before a hanging that leads to a town grabbing pitchforks and marching on the old eccentric who lives in the crumbling castle up the hill — except there is no scapegoat, no perpetrator, no announced criminal. All that furious energy has nowhere to go, and has sparked an online witchhunt that has never before been seen in the annals of digital history.

The internet has mobilised to solve the crime — #WhoBitBeyonce is trending on Twitter and the “Beyhive” is swarming the Instagram comment sections of the actresses suspected of the face-munch that stopped the world. Journalists at Vulture, The Cut, Buzzfeed and more have taken deep dives, sorting through the reams of conflicting information for a culprit. Chrissy Teigen is on the case. It’s all happening.

But one thing’s for sure — the story of who bit Beyoncé is less compelling than why and, most importantly, who would dare to bite the most powerful woman in the world on the face.

So, What Actually Happened That Fateful Night?

The story begins with an iconic selfie posted by Tiffany Haddish three months ago. That photo includes a somewhat-shy looking Beyoncé.

Haddish spilled the story behind the photo to Vulture, which led to Beyoncé rapping in a new song about how everyone who parties with her from now on will need to sign an NDA.

Cool. The selfie in question was taken in December of 2017 at the afterparty of a Jay-Z concert, and despite being told in verse to basically STFU, Tiffany Haddish has now shared more information on the circumstances surrounding the selfie in GQ — namely that Beyoncé was bitten on the face.

“There was this actress there that’s just, like, doing the mostest,” she said. The mostest, apparently, being that “she bit Beyoncé in the face”.

Haddish continues later in the interview: “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.’”

Beyoncé’s representative has claimed to have no knowledge of the incident. Haddish has refused to name who the actress is. Everyone went mad.

The Suspects

This is a celebrity A-list party, so we’ve got a veritable Cluedo of lady celebrities who might be the drug-addled face chomper of myth and legend. The internet has already begun digging around tyring to find out the actresses who might have been there and had the motive and opportunity to do the deed.

Photography is famously forbidden, as it was a Carter event, making this process a lot harder than it would normally be.

Detectives at The Cut have named Rihanna, Queen Latifah, Sara Foster, Jen Meyer, and Sanaa Lathan (I don’t know who half these people are either) as possible suspects, based on who they’ve determined to have been at the Jay-Z concert before the afterparty.

Other names have been floated around — such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Lena Dunham and Jennifer Lawrence — some based more on whimsy and spite than any actual evidence. For example, people don’t particularly think Lena Dunham could be classified as Carter in-crowd, yet isn’t it totally something she’d do?

The best evidence we have to work from is Tiffany Haddish’s original statement (if we decide that there’s an untruth at the core of this whole thing, we might as well just go home) and Chrissy Teigen, who was the first investigator on the scene.

“I can only think of one person who would do this. but I cannot say. but she …. is the worst,” Teigen posted on Twitter. She later updated her thread saying that the person who she considered the worst definitely did not do it.

The fact is that people out there know who did the biting makes this all the more tantalising.

Popular opinion has narrowed the list of most likely biters down to Sanaa Lathan or Sara Foster, but both have taken to social media to vehemently deny it.

Why Is Beyoncé Protecting This Zombie Bitch

We have to wonder why Haddish and Teigen, and presumably everyone else at that party, are bending over backwards in order to protect the culprit.

In the end, it doesn’t matter particularly who the utterly loose unit that bit Beyoncé is — what’s more interesting is how unique the reaction has been. Literally nobody else in the world would really spur such an impassioned response. Biting Beyoncé has created the perfect pop culture storm.

Partly it’s because of the absurdity of the act of biting, which is weirdly violent, intimate and strange. Partly it’s because of Beyonce’s ubiquity. But I’m betting that other mega-famous people have been bitten before and it’s scarcely raised an eyebrow.

Beyoncé has trained us all to treat her as a carefully curated experience, someone who no longer gives interviews, lets people take photos, or engages in the media scrum. Her entire public profile is a clockwork piece of precision, a reversal of the social media power balance that dominates most artists and celebrities lives.

But the only reason this works is that we have brought into the whole narrative — we not only endorse her bid for perfection, we applaud it. Beyoncé’s perfection reflects on us all. Beyoncé has ascended past the point of actually needing us.

Attacking Beyoncé’s face in turn attacks our own depiction of her, which is why we got so fascinated with finding the culprit. But Beyoncé is not protecting anyone — she’s desperately ignoring this whole circus.

Frankly, I am worried for Tiffany Haddish’s future — she’s already been warned in verse about the dangers of being indiscreet with Beyoncé’s tightly controlled brand, has she now traded in her good will for another amusing anecdote?

Jennifer Lawrence Did It Probably

Personally, biting Beyoncé in the face seems exactly like a fun goof that an utterly off-their-chops J-Law would do, a classic escalation from ‘America’s goofiest sweetheart’ to  ‘overly entitled to attention and space’. She’s famous enough to get away with it, and a classic ‘jokester’.

It also seems like the response from everyone involved seemed more embarrassed for the biter than feeling sorry for the bitee, making it truly feel like a goof gone wrong.

Patrick Lenton is an author and staff writer at Junkee. He tweets @patricklenton.