Beyonce’s publicist has asked the star’s fans not to “spew hate in her name” after they forced a woman off Instagram for a perceived slight against the artist.
Nicole Curran, the wife of the owner of basketball team Golden State Warriors, has been targeted with abuse after she was seen watching a game with husband Joe Lacob, and their guests Beyonce and Jay-Z on 5 June.
In a viral video watched almost 15 million times on Twitter, Ms Curran can be seen leaning past Beyonce to talk to Jay-Z. Some fans quickly interpreted the moment as Ms Curran being rude to the artist.
On the thread below the video, fans can be seen boasting they had found Ms Curran’s Instagram and sharing screenshots of the comments they were directing at her.
“The audacity to talk across the Queen,” reads one comment left on Ms Curran’s now-deleted account . Others simply left scores of Bee emojis.
On 6 June, ESPN journalist Ramona Shelburne tweeted that she’d spoken to Ms Curran who was “in tears” and “had been getting death threats” leading to her disabling her Instagram account.
Ms Curran told ESPN that in the clip she was asking both Jay-Z and Beyonce if they wanted a drink as they were her and her husband’s guests at the game. She explained that she had been leaning over Beyonce because of the loudness of the crowd to ask Jay-Z if he wanted a lime in the vodka soda he’d requested.
“I’ve never experienced cyber-bullying like this. I can’t believe our players go through this. That kids go through this,” she said.
Neither Beyonce nor Jay-Z has yet responded to the situation but her publicist Yvette Noel-Schure stepped in on Thursday night.
In a post on Instagram she said: “I also want to speak here to the beautiful BeyHiVE. I know your love runs deep but that love has to be given to every human. It will bring no joy to the person you love so much if you spew hate in her name”
Some Twitter users say the episode fits into a wider trend of “toxic fandom” where fans team up to bully and harass people online in the name of a star.
“People really sending death threats to a woman just because she talked, Beyonce’s fan base really does take the title of most toxic fandom,” wrote one user.
“Beyonce ‘stans’ are the most toxic fandom out there,” agreed another.