‘Today Show’ Cuts Off Janelle Monae Mid-Speech During Friday Morning Performance, Fans Point To Censorship

by | PopCrush
Bennett Raglin, Getty Images

Funky R&B/pop artist Janelle Monae performed on the Today Show on Friday morning (August 14) alongside several of her Wondaland Records label mates, including rapper Jidenna, in promotion of her label’s newly released EP, The Eephus.

Performing an assortment of Monae’s hits (like “Tightrope”) as well as tracks from her label EP (such as the infectious aerobics anthem “Yoga“), the televised morning performance should have been a celebration of the music and diverse talent present on stage. But towards the end of the set, Janelle was seemingly cut off by the network just as the artist was wrapping the performance of her protest song, “Hell You Talmbout,” a track dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement.

During a musical breakdown in the song, Monae—who has always been a passionate and vocal advocate of black rights and women’s rights, among other socially-minded causes—took a moment to speak to the crowd about police brutality. “God bless all the lives lost to police brutality,” she began, adding, “We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know we stand tall today. We will not be silenced…”

Ironically, it was at that precise moment that Monae was indeed silenced, as the camera panned away and a Today Show host began suddenly talking over Monae’s ongoing speech. The abruptness and overall audio-visual awkwardness of the way the break occurred of course left many viewers thinking that the show had cut off the end of her performance on purpose, in order to squash any potential controversy that Monae’s speech may have potentially caused.

Seemingly supporting this particular theory, the Today Show still hasn’t uploaded any footage of Monae’s performance of the final song, though they have uploaded clips of the other songs performed Friday. Hmmm… very suspicious, we say!

NEXT: JANELLE MONAE PUTS 'YOGA' IN MOTION IN NEW VIDEO