Internet hoax over Beyoncé super-fan served as ‘catalyst’ for TV thriller Swarm –

Swarm has shed light on an internet rumor from seven years ago about an alleged Beyoncé mega-fan named Marissa Jackson.

WARNING: Content of a disturbing nature and spoilers for Swarm ahead

Amazon Prime Video’s new thriller series Swarm has taken the internet by storm since its release on Friday, March 17. The series, created by Atlanta’s Donald Glover and Janine Nabers, explores the dangerously obsessive side of ‘stan culture.’

You’d be hard-pressed to find a viewer who couldn’t see the parallels between the show’s pop star Ni’Jah (Nirine S Brown) and Beyoncé. The creators have said that Ni’Jah is not meant to be a stand-in for Queen Bey, though the pop star’s real-world clashes have been dramatized on the show. So who is Marissa Jackson, the rumored megafan from Houston, Texas?

The ‘Marissa Jackson Beyoncé’ Rumor Explained

One of the main inspirations for creating Swarm came from internet rumors in 2016. That year, Beyoncé released the critically acclaimed album Lemonade, which revolved around infidelity. Lemonade’s lyrics sparked much speculation about the status of Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s marriage, with some fans concerned that the lyrics hinted at an alleged affair.

Empire Herald, a well-known hoax and satire website, spread a rumor that a woman named Marissa Jackson had taken her own life after Beyoncé released Lemonade. The article quotes an alleged friend of Jackson’s who discussed how obsessed Jackson had become with Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s marriage. After hearing Lemonade, the prospect of an alleged affair drove Jackson to despair.

So is Marissa Jackson a real person?

No. Despite what the Amazon Prime Video thriller might have you think, the show claims it’s “not a work of fiction,” Marissa Jackson isn’t a real person, and she didn’t take her own life after the release of Lemonade.

Playwright Janine Nabers, who co-created the show, explained that people in Houston were convinced that Marissa Jackson was real after hearing the rumor. “I’m from Houston, Texas, and my best friend’s last name is Jackson,” Nabers said of the rumor. “There were a lot of text messages among Houstonians saying, ‘Hey, who is this Marissa Jackson? Is this a true story?’ And that existed on the internet for a while,” Nabers explained in a Shondaland interview.

Marissa Jackson is the name of Chloë Bailey’s character on the show. However, she is not modeled after a real person.

Swarm does such a good job of walking the line between fiction and nonfiction that some viewers have even been questioning whether our murderous leading lady, Andrea Greene, is real.

Rumored events in Beyoncé’s life are dramatized in Swarm

Despite not being entirely based on real people or events, there are moments in Swarm that are taken from real life. In particular, from the real life of Beyoncé.

A memorable moment from the show recreates a viral moment from 2018 when Tiffany Haddish claimed someone bit Beyoncé. “There was an actress there who was just doing her best. She bit Beyoncé in the face,” Haddish alleged in a GQ interview.

Janine Nabers described the rumors about Beyoncé fans, particularly Marissa Jackson, as “a bit of the catalyst for this show” in her interview with Shondaland. “That’s when I researched all the crazy stories we’ve heard online or have been out there in the real world that revolve around this particular musician.” But Nabers explains that they are only used as a catalyst and launching pad for the drama of the show.

If you are affected by any issues raised in the article or would like to speak to someone, please call the Samaritans toll free on 116 123. You can also email them at [email protected] or visit to find your nearest branch in the UK. In the US, visit Samaritans USA for more information.

You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Americans can now call or text 988 to reach out and speak to a counselor.

Stream Swarm episodes on Amazon Prime Video now

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