A furious Shelter Island resident has launched legal action against the town council for allegedly allowing Beyoncé to secretly shoot a video at a local historical site — which he called “sacred ground.”
Mike Gaynor claims in court papers seen by Page Six that neither Beyoncé nor Disney applied for permission to film her visual album “Black is King” at Sylvester Manor, the former home of slave trader Nathaniel Sylvester.
Gaynor calls Nathaniel “top a-hole and CEO of a worldwide slave-hunting and trading operation” — but says the site demands respect because slaves were buried there.
Gaynor, who lives in a neighboring property, filed suit in New York Supreme Court last Wednesday against the town, all of the town trustees and the Community Preservation Fund board’s member.
He donated $30,000 last year alone to the Manor.
“I have official confirmation from the town clerk that no permits were obtained,” he told Page Six, “I was deeply offended when I learned that The Manor took money from Disney to allow the film… on what is without argument on wholly sacred ground.”
He added, “Please know that there are at least 200+ enslaved Africans and Manhasset Indians buried on their land and so that’s just not a place where you film a dance-off.”
Gaynor believes that the council knowingly allowed the superstar to film without permits. “There’s no way they would have allowed her to turn up without knowing — I believe in fact the town did know about this and the town was signed up on an NDA so that the Manor and the town could make money,” he said.
Manor staff confirmed in August that they hosted the superstar and helped choose locations for her — insisting that she chose the site because of its important history.
A source told us that Disney bought the completed movie from an independent production company, and didn’t have a hand in the filming locations.
Reps for Beyoncé and Shelter Island Town Council were unavailable for comment.
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