Mistook Laverne Cox for Beyonce: The annual U.S. Open tennis event always draws a plethora of famous athletes. Even more famous people are expected to attend this year so they can see Serena Williams, who will be retiring after the event, play in her last professional match.
Celebrities from Ben Stiller to Bill Clinton flocked to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, on the first night of the tournament to see Serena play in the first round, and some viewers at home may have mistakenly seen another queen among the crowd.
Choni Francis‘s account tweeted, “#Beyoncé at the #USOpen” with a short clip of a lady with a black mask and her hair pulled back into a low ponytail.
The only catch is that it was really Laverne Cox, the outspoken LGBTQ+ actress and activist who rose to fame thanks to her performance as Piper Chapman on Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. Francis then retweeted an even more extensive photo of Cox in the stands with the same message.
Laverne Cox discusses being misidentified as Beyoncé at the US Open.
Despite the fact that a case of mistaken identification is seldom a humorous subject, particularly for people of color who must listen to the stereotype that all members of a certain racial group look alike, Cox and the rest of the Internet were able to chuckle about it. Cox, on the other hand, seemed unfazed by the mix-up and just shared the footage on her Instagram account.
Not me, trending on Twitter as the world laughs at the misidentification of me as @Beyonce during tonight’s #USOpen. I’m dying laughing at these tweets. She concluded the tweet by expressing her support for Serena, writing, “Enjoy!!!”
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Laverne Cox had just shared a video of herself getting ready for the night a few hours before, to the tune of Beyoncé. Cox goes to the mirror, adjusts her clothing, and poses for the camera while the chorus from “PURE/HONEY” from her most recent album Renaissance plays in the background.
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This isn’t the first time Cox has made her Beyoncé obsession clear; in 2020, she told Entertainment Tonight, “Everybody knows that I live for Beyoncé. I don’t often bow down to earthly deities, but Beyoncé is a deity. She has previously impersonated Queen Bey on Lip Sync Battle when she gave a memorable rendition of “Lose My Breath” by Destiny’s Child.
Even though Serena lost her first-round match, the night ended with a tweet from Twitter user David Dennis Jr. saying that being mistaken for Beyoncé must be “a career highlight” for Cox. Cox concurred, saying, “Absolutely.”
Beyoncé hasn’t addressed the misunderstanding directly, but she did pay honor to Serena’s career by narrating a Gatorade commercial titled Love Means Everything that was released on August 29th, a day before Serena’s first-round match.
This film recounts crucial moments in Serena’s career, which let other women of color, particularly Black women, engage in tennis, a sport out of reach for people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
Beyoncé narrates the film, stating, “It’s a love we’ll remember through the centuries.” One couple’s love sparked a revolution. A cultural shift toward unconditional self-acceptance. And what it is possible for you to become. To be so infatuated with who you are that you can’t contain it… To be proud of every inch of muscle and shape you possess. An ongoing call to embrace and celebrate one’s identity as a Black woman.