Laverne Cox was mistaken for Beyoncé at the U.S. Open : NPR

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Beyoncé (left) and Laverne Cox (right) pose for a photo at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Many people, including Cox himself, were amused after she was mistaken for Beyoncé at 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 himself, were amused after she was mistaken for Beyoncé at a US Open match Sunday night.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

Tennis legend Serena Williams drew a number of star-studded spectators to her first-round US Open game — and possibly last pro tournament — from former President Bill Clinton and actress Queen Latifah to tennis star Coco Gauff and Fashion editor Anna Wintour.

So it wouldn’t have been much to see her friend Beyoncé – she told a new Gatorade commercial in honor of Williams’ legacy – in the stands too. Some who watched at home even thought so.

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

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

Cox seemed amused by the confusion and the ensuing reaction, even reposting the video to her Instagram account.

“I’m not mistaken for @Beyonce at the #USOpen tonight and then trending on Twitter as the internet cackles about the wrong identity,” she wrote. “These tweets are funny as hell. Enjoy!!!”

Cases of misidentification are often not funny. They overwhelmingly tease people of color in the workplace and in the media, including some recent high-profile cases – which Williams himself was involved in.

The New York Times mistakenly posted a photo of her sister Venus alongside a story about her venture firm that raised $111 million earlier this year, Getting 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 seemed to take it not only to heart, but also as a compliment.

Notably, Cox has made no secret of her admiration for the pop star. A few hours earlier, she’d even shared a video of her getting ready for the US Open with a Beyoncé song playing in the background. She’s also mimicked Beyoncé in the past – albeit more intentionally – in a memorable Lip Sync Battle performance.

“Everyone knows I live for Beyoncé,” she told Entertainment Tonight in 2020. “I’m not trying to worship gods on earth or goddesses, but I worship Beyoncé.”

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

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

Sports and culture writer David Dennis, Jr. was one of the people who seemed to think so. He named Cox the second biggest winner of the evening (after Williams, of course, who defeated Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3).

“Laverne Cox…was mistaken for Beyoncé all night”, he tweeted. “That’s a career highlight for literally everyone.”

“Absolute!” Cox agreed.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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