Did Taylor Swift's Billboard Music Awards performance on Wednesday night rip off Beyoncé's 2018's Coachella show?
The question is tearing through both artists' respective fandoms on Twitter. The Beyhive is claiming that Swift's opening number at Wednesday's awards, which featured a drum corps flanking Swift as she walked on stage, stole the idea from Bey's Coachella performances, which served as the basis for her recent Netflix "Homecoming" documentary.
Swifties, on the other hand, are coming to their idol's defense, pointing out that Swift has used marching bands during her live performances in the past.
What Beyoncé fans are saying
“One of these things is not like the other," one fan wrote, quoting Swift's new song "ME!," which she performed at the BBMAs Wednesday night. The tweet included an image of Swift's opening pose juxtaposed with a scene from one of Beyonce's Coachella performances.
Desus, from Showtime's "Desus and Mero" late-night show, also chimed in writing, "twitter's wild because there are ppl on here saying Beyoncé didn't invent marching bands and we all saw when she did."
The hashtag #Mayochella also started to trend, spoofing the perceived whiteness of Swift's performance. Bey fans flooded the hashtag with spoofs of her lyrics, including “Okay ladies, let’s promote colonization" and "My momma South Dakota, daddy a Trump supporter."
There were also plenty of "Bring It On" jokes, referencing how the majority-white Toros stole the black Clovers cheer squad's routine.
— クリス RULES (@ChrisRules_) May 2, 2019
— 𝑳𝑼𝑵𝑶 𝑻𝑨𝑼𝑹𝑶 🌙 (@ShanghaiTheDon) May 2, 2019
What Taylor fans are saying
Swifties did not take kindly to the online treatment of the pop singer, taking to Twitter to fight back.
"Taylor DID NOT copy her performance, the level of delusion of the BeyHive is ridiculously high at this point," read one defense.
"'strike the band up' is literally a lyric in the song," another disgruntled Swift fan wrote. "the same band on stage is the same band in the music video. and just for the future, beyoncé is not the only artist allowed to have a band onstage."
Many other fans pulled up photos of Swift's previous performances wearing marching band garb as proof that she'd been doing the schtick long before her BBMAs performance.
"She even worn a marching band outfit during her Fearless Tour in 2009 but you know... people like to insult her for no reason," one fan wrote.
"2008 Taylor Swift performing with a marching band in her "You Belong With Me" video ... 11 years before her 2019 #BBMAs performance," read another response.
Another commenter brought up the many marching bands that have appeared in musical performances over the years: "spongebob: used a marching band madonna: used a marching band gwen stefani: used a marching band taylor swift: opened her 2009 tour with a marching band beyoncé: used a marching band taylor swift: used a marching band again since 2009 beyhives: sHe's cOpYing bEyoNcé."
She even worn a marching band outfit during her Fearless Tour in 2009 but you know... people like to insult her for no reason. pic.twitter.com/J89Ys0thm7
— Mélissa😏🍁🇨🇦 (@Oh_My_Alonsoxox) May 2, 2019
— Brian A. Hernandez (@BAHjournalist) May 2, 2019
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Taylor Swift, Beyoncé fans spar over Billboard Music Awards: 'Taylor DID NOT copy her'