Stephan A. Smith has Rihanna fans heated after he shaded her booking for the upcoming Super Bowl halftime show. Smith remarked on the performance during an appearance on “Sherri” with Sherri Shepherd on Jan. 18.
After Shepherd asked Smith if he was excited about RiRi’s highly anticipated Super Bowl performance, the ESPN commentator compared the “Woo” singer to Beyoncé.
“I don’t want to say I’m not excited,” he replied. “She’s fantastic. That’s not where I’m goin’ with this. Ladies and gentlemen, she’s a lot of things. She’s spectacular, and congratulations on the new mamahood. There’s one thing she’s not. She ain’t Beyoncé.”
The audience seemed shocked by Smith’s comments, and he quickly tried to explain himself.
“The only reason I brought up Beyoncé is because Beyoncé recently performed at the Super Bowl,” he said.
After Shepherd defended Rihanna and said, “I LIKE Rihanna,” Smith went on to say that he liked television and noted the abundance of female talent in television today before saying, “I like Sherri, but everybody ain’t Sherri. That’s not throwin’ shade on them,” he said. “That’s appreciating their greatness but understanding … there’s levels.”
He went on to say he supported Rihanna and her music, but to him, there’s Beyoncé, and then there’s everybody else.
Fans did not appreciate Smith’s comments, and several replied in the comment section under a post shared by The Shade Room. Actress Shantel Jackson replied, “The more s—he talks, the more hairline he loses.”
Rapper Malibu Miitch replied, “No he did not fix them nasty creased, crusty, top lip being just as big as the bottom lip to shade our beloved Rihanna!!! Women just be minding their happy a— business and here comes a man who’s not even taller than us commenting on us!!”
One fan replied, “That’s right! She’s Rihanna! Put some respect on her name!”
The 2023 Super Bowl LVII will be played on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona.