NASA Would Appreciate If Beyonce Stopped Sampling The Challenger Disaster

January 2nd, 2014 // 31 Comments
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“And then the astronauts were all like, ‘OHMYGOD! THERE’S A FIRE!’ Now drop that ass. C’mon!”

Because this story didn’t involve bikinis or man-anus-obsessed duck hunters, I completely missed the kerfuffle over Beyonce using audio from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in her new song “XO” which apparently didn’t go over well with a lot of people. Specifically family members of the astronauts who died in said explosion, and their colleagues at the scientific institution who launched the mission. Haters gonna hate. Via HuffPost:

The space agency issued the statement late Tuesday after the pop star began to receive criticism from Challenger families and others for using the short sample that includes the words “major malfunction” as an allusion to a failed relationship.
“The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized,” said the statement from Lauren B. Worley, NASA’s press secretary. “NASA works every day to honor the legacy of our fallen astronauts as we carry out our mission to reach for new heights and explore the universe.”
NASA’s response came after Beyonce explained the use of the short snippet in a statement to ABC News Tuesday that stopped short of an apology. The sample appears at the beginning of her song “XO” from her new self-titled album.
Among those critical of the sample was June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee. She told ABC in a statement that she was disappointed and described the use of the sample as “emotionally difficult.”

Of course, if the Internet has taught me anything it’s that people need to stop being so offended because slavery happened a long time ago, so I’m sure that will be applied to this situation and not suddenly abandoned because it involves Beyonce who will now act as a receiver for pent-up hate about having a black president and the increasing browning of America. I feel ridiculous even typing that. However, that being said, I wouldn’t feel like a proper journalist if I didn’t at least comment, holy shit, what a cunt. I swore an oath.



  1. JC

    She could have done better. She should have used audio from one of Hitler’s speeches over a background of 9/11 news coverage. The song itself could be a plaintive lament about what happens when you can’t get the designer bag you need. Go big or go home, Bey.

  2. Mariah


  3. Didn’t Elton John do the same thing and no one gave a fuck? I seem to remember that happening. I also remember exactly where I was when the Challenger explosion happened. I am old.

  4. no way. hitler’s speech, over 9/11 news coverage remixed with the audio of the daniel pearl video. that’s a hit. right there.

  5. dark matter

    NASA is so butthurt but seems to forget that was their decision to launch on that cold day when a lot of people were against it and warned them about possibility of an o-ring failure due to cold.
    Btw F$%k Moooyonce

  6. Veronika Larsson

    Hm, no reaction from Gwyneth Paltrow?

    Sampling the audio of the Challenger disaster is insensitive, but no one has ever accused this woman of living in the real world with the rest of us. She’s been living in a bubble since she was a teenager.

    By the way, her fan base is not African American, it’s the middle class white suburbs.

  7. carsonlea

    I’m not sure what slavery or Beyonce’s race has to do with any of this. Using the Challenger disaster for a silly pop song is the height of tasteless, but then so is Beyonce. This young woman gets her cues about what is ‘classy’ from her mother and Gwyneth Paltrow, so it’s no wonder she wouldn’t recognize poor taste.

  8. Beyonce Cleavage Crazy Faces Rockn Rio Music Festival
    Commented on this photo:

    Wait, will I be gay if I disclose that I’m frightened by this imagery?

  9. Beyonce Cleavage Crazy Faces Rockn Rio Music Festival
    Commented on this photo:

    It’s so hard to take a dump while you are so constipated.

  10. What’s the appeal of this Beyonce woman? I don’t see it.

  11. C’mon. How many Americans would even recognize where that 10-second audio clip of generic statements came from if NASA hadn’t make a public statement about it? How many young Americans remember the Challenger disaster? How many Americans even know what NASA stands for?

    Seriously, this is overblown. But hey NASA’s getting some free exposure, so they should be glad. More young people are probably showing a little interest in their history now than have done so in a long time just because of this.

    • D-chi

      Duh, it’s the National Association of Space Applesauce. (Nailed it.)

    • Muffin

      I saw the Challenger bust in person, it’s not something you forget. Remember Christa McAuliffe? Don’t hate on NASA, they have issues like any organization but their intent is/was solid.

      • Saw it as a kid too; I do remember it. Am an aerospace engineer now and have worked with NASA in the past. I admire the organization greatly and believe in their mission.

        And my opinion still stands. This is overblown.

  12. I’m on NASA’s side with this one. The video that Beyonce produced for this song shows her at an amusement park, in her various “come fuck me” poses. That video says nothing about respecting life because it can be gone in a minute. It shows her having fun, being flirtatious. If anyone thinks it does, please tell me where that message is.

  13. News Flash:: Chunky fame whores don’t suffer from an excess of class.

  14. Beyonce Cleavage Crazy Faces Rockn Rio Music Festival
    Beyonce's Minge
    Commented on this photo:

    ALRIGHT! EVERYONE BACK! GET BACK I SAY! Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt. We’re getting outta here, one way or another! Tell Jay Z I want a Choppah, and a Jet waiting at the airport!

  15. Echo5

    Beyonce doesn’t care for dead astronauts

  16. You know what’s offensive? This:

    Oh, wait—did I say offensive? I meant brilliant. This is brilliant.

  17. eh

    Oh sure, a space agency loses two out of five shuttles to catastrophic failure and then becomes completely unable to lift even small loads into orbit, and nobody says anything except how great they are. But sample one of their many, many disasters and you’re the bad guy. Go Tweet against NASA, you fools.

  18. I am old enough to remember it happening. We were all in school watching, because with a teacher being on board, it was something special for the kids to relate to. Beyonce can ‘no disrespect’ herself to the grave and it won’t make this any less of a tactless, tasteless move.

    Audio clips reporting the tragic deaths of people do not belong in pop songs, you dumb cow.

    • The clip says.
      “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation.”
      “Obviously we have a major malfunction”

      What part of that indicates people dying or even what situation it applies to? Only NASA could associate those few words to the Challenger disaster almost 30 years ago. I doubt more than a handful of others on the planet could have.

      Honestly if that’s your bar for being offended with historical events being referenced in American pop culture (i.e., stage, screen, music, comedy, art, etc.), you must find yourself feeling constantly offended. And a site like this–which generally prides itself on generally poking fun at or making light of others’ misfortune and shortcomings–should be one of the last places you’d wanna hang out.

      • The clip is about an event in which seven highly respected people were blown to bits on live TV, and kids and adults across multiple countries were watching and stunned to silence. It doesn’t have to be the *exact line* about the deaths, the entire event was a tragedy and doesn’t belong in a fucking pop song.

        The Sup is about poking fun at – imagine this – *superficial* people. You know, douchebag spoiled celebrities and famewhores alike. Those aboard the Challenger were not Lindsay Lohans or Justin Biebers. They were people that the normal people hold as heroic, willing to risk their lives to help explore outside of our world for science. Using clips of that broadcast in a pop song is inappropriate as hell.

        There are very few things that offend me, I have a pretty high tolerance for most shit. But there are certain things that simply cross the bounds of respect and taste too far – those are the things people *should* be offended with, and this is one of them.

      • Well, the Holocaust must not offend you in the least, because the number of pop-culture and even specifically comedic–yes, comedic–references to Nazis, Hitler, and WWII Germany are too many to name. And those are FAR more easily recognized as connected to human suffering and tragedy than the words “we have a major malfunction”. (Sung in a somber ballad, btw.) So either you believe jokes referencing any of that shouldn’t be offensive or you believe that none of the people affected by that were worthy of respect or I guess that’s just your “high tolerance” kicking in…selectively of course.

        This site simply makes fun of famous people that we don’t know based on randomly reported/photographed events in their life. Period. It’s praising and/or lambasting people for superficial reasons….e.g., candid photos, misspoken words, low points, flaws, and embarrassing moments (as if we never have any of those ourselves). So the title “superficial” applies to us as well as them–probably moreso. I accept that; it’s a diversion and I get some entertainment from it. But I also recognize that all we know about these people is what we see/hear in the media. That is (often) next to nothing. Considering everyone roasted here as unworthy of respect is really pretending to know them way better than you actually do. But, hey, it does makes it easier to rationalize being cruel and judgmental with a complete lack of empathy so have at it. The folks who are really offended just don’t come here.

        But, as Ricky Gervais–one of the many comedians who make careers out of pushing peoples’ limits of offensiveness– likes to say: “just because you’re offended, that doesn’t mean you’re right.”

      • correction: song isn’t a ‘somber ballad’ but isn’t exactly one for the clubs either.

      • And for the record, the line ‘obviously we have a major malfunction’ is VERY well remembered by a lot of people. It was one of the most defining soundbites of the event at the time and far from obscure.

  19. Yeah, there are some things you just don’t do and this is one of them.

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