Laverne Cox was mistaken for Beyoncé at the US Open: NPR


Beyoncé (left) and Laverne Cox (right) pose for a photo at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Many people, including Cox herself, laughed after being mistaken for Beyoncé during a US Open match Sunday night.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS


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Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS


Beyoncé (left) and Laverne Cox (right) pose for a photo at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Many people, including Cox herself, laughed after being mistaken for Beyoncé during a US Open match Sunday night.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

Tennis legend Serena Williams drew a star-studded group of spectators to her US Open first-round match – and maybe last pro tournament – Sunday night, from former President Bill Clinton and actress Queen Latifah to tennis star Coco Gauff and vogue editor Anna Wintour.

So it wouldn’t have been difficult to spot her friend Beyoncé – who told a new Gatorade commercial honoring Williams’ legacy – in the stands too. In fact, some watching at home thought so.

“#Beyonce at #USOpen,” tweeted the @Choni accountalongside video of a black woman wearing hoop earrings and a face mask reacting with the crowd.

Only Queen Bey it was not. As fans pointed out — and the original poster was quickly clarified — the video actually showed Laverne Cox, the actress, Emmy-winning producer, and LGTBQ advocate.

Cox seemed amused by the confusion and the backlash that followed, even reposting the video on his Instagram account.

“I don’t take myself for @Beyonce to #US Open tonight then trending on Twitter as the internet sneers at the mistaken identity,” she wrote. “These tweets are funny as hell. Enjoy!!!”

Cases of misidentification are often not funny. They have massively afflict people of color in the workplace and in the media, including some recent high-profile cases — one of which involved Williams herself.

The New York Times mistakenly posted a photo of her sister Venus alongside a story about her venture capital firm which raised $111 million earlier this year, prompting Williams to share that she worked to support founders overlooked by biased systems “because even I am overlooked”.

This particular error was better received. Cox didn’t just seem to take it in stride, but as a compliment.

Notably, Cox has made no secret of his admiration for the pop star. A few hours earlier, in fact, she had shared a video of her prepares for the US Open with a Beyoncé song playing in the background. She’s also impersonated Beyoncé in the past – albeit more intentionally – in a memorable performances Lip Sync Battle.

“Everyone knows I live for Beyoncé,” she said. says Entertainment Tonight in 2020. “I try not to worship any gods on earth, or goddesses, but I do love Beyoncé.”

Many fans shared this appreciation online, tweeting how flattered Cox must be. Some even said they saw the resemblance too.

Choni, who shared the video first, wrote later that they were beginning to think the mix-up might “actually be correct”, but would give him 24 hours to see. So far, that seems to be the case.

Sports and culture writer David Dennis, Jr. was among those who seemed to think so. He called Cox the second-biggest winner of the night (after Williams, of course, who beat Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3).

“Laverne Cox…has been mistaken for Beyoncé all night,” he tweeted. “Which is a career highlight for literally anyone.”

“Absolutely!” Cox accepted.

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