Beyoncé’s wax figure is back on display at Manhattan’s Madame Tussauds after critics slammed the museum for purportedly “whitewashing” the Lemonade singer’s wax likeness.
The controversy began when photos of the statue began to circulate online. People pointed out that the statue looked more like Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears than Beyoncé herself – due in large part to the figure’s long blond hair and lighter skin tone.
A spokesperson for the museum issued a statement standing by the figure. “Our talented team of sculptors take every effort to ensure we accurately color match all of our wax figures to the celebrity being depicted,” the spokesperson said to Entertainment Tonight. “Lighting within the attraction combined with flash photography may distort and misrepresent the color of our wax figures, which is something our sculptors are unable to account for at the production stage.”
As photos of the Beyoncé figure continued to garner negative attention, the museum quietly removed their statue Thursday. According to the New York Times, a museum staff member did not offer any particular reason for the figure’s absence, only noting that it was “off the floor until further notice.”
By Friday, the figure had returned, with a follow-up statement from the museum, this time striking a more humble tone.
“We love, respect and enjoy a working relationship with Beyoncé,” the statement reads. “We have adjusted the styling and the lighting of her figure and she is on display at Madame Tussauds New York.”