What's a movie without a little controversy? Of course, no one really though The Lion King would be the film to get such media attention for a controversy, but here we are. The Disney reboot has an extremely star-studded cast, featuring Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, James Earl Jones, and one of the biggest stars in the world Beyoncé.
When the cast photo for The Lion King was released, Beyoncé was obviously in it, but some people wondered whether or not she was actually there for the photo.
"Why do I have the strange suspicion that Beyoncé wasn't really there and they had to photoshop her into this," Sisa wrote on Twitter.
"You’re not the only one with those suspicions," someone else replied.
"You know damn well that she wasn’t there," another joked.
It wouldn't really be that outrageous of a thought. Beyoncé is busy and basically music royalty. If she didn't have to be there, she probably wasn't. No one has really confirmed or denied the rumor that "Queen Bey," who plays Nala, was photoshopped into the picture. No one until John Oliver, that is.
Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight who plays Zazu in the new film, was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert when he was asked about the rumors.
“There’s a lot of speculation here that everybody else in this photo is actually there, except not Beyoncé,” host Stephen Colbert explained. “People are speculating she was photoshopped in. And you’re right next to her — can you tell us whether she was there?”
“She wasn’t there,” Oliver, 42, responded, adding, “I think almost everybody else was there. I remember Chiwetel [Ejiofor, who voices Scar] — we were setting up the shot and Chiwetel was sitting in the front and he said, ‘You need to be careful where your foot is.' looked down and there was just this piece of tape on the floor with Beyoncé’s name written on it.”
Oliver recalled jumping back and comparing it to a "electric" force, saying that even knowing Beyoncé would be near him was terrifying.
“Just the future presence of Beyoncé was so intimidating — if you look at my face in there, I look really intimidated,” he continued. “That’s because what I’m doing is imagining that I am about to be put into a photo with Beyoncé one day. And that was nerve-wracking enough.”
Oliver also joked that the huge gap between him and Oliver makes sense.
“It’s only appropriate that there’s a significant gap between me and the actual queen,” Oliver joked.
I think it's pretty funny that Beyoncé wasn't in the picture, but I also think it's probably a lot more common than people think.