Karygiannis clarifies comments on banning Beyoncé after Super Bowl performance
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, February 9, 2016 6:48PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 9, 2016 8:22PM EST
A Toronto city councillor says it is not up to him to decide whether pop superstar Beyoncé should be banned from performing in Canada following her Super Bowl performance Sunday.
In a recent interview with the Toronto Sun, Scarborough-Agincourt Coun. Jim Karygiannis questioned whether in light of Beyoncé’s performance – in which the singer wore faux-bullet bandoliers and her backup dancers wore black berets reminiscent of the New Black Panther movement – the federal government should probe whether she supports the group before she performs here.
“Perhaps Immigration Minister John McCallum should have her investigated first?” Karygianni said in the interview.
“If someone wore bullets and supported (a radical group) here, they would not be welcomed in the United States – that’s for sure.”
Karygiannis told The Sun’s Joe Warmington that if Beyoncé or her dancers materially supported the New Black Panthers, the government should move to ban them from entering the country.
On Tuesday afternoon, the councillor said that any such decisions are ultimately up to other levels of government to make.
“If people have concerns I’m not the one to address them,” Karygiannis told CP24. “The minister of citizenship and immigration should address them.”
He said he has received a few comments about the Super Bowl performance, expressing “a mixed bag” of opinions.
One woman, he said, wrote to him claiming Beyoncé was “spreading racial fears” with her performance, and that she should not be allowed to do so here.
Another resident told him his comments contained in The Sun article were racist.
Karygiannis said the New Black Panthers are not on any Canadian list of banned groups, but if he were to travel to the United States and espouse views deemed to be radical, he’d expect to be held at the border.
Beyoncé is scheduled to perform in Edmonton on May 20 and at the Rogers Centre on May 25, as part of her “Formation” tour.
For his part, Coun. Norm Kelly tweeted late Monday night to “Let Bey be.”