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Is Swarm Based On A True Story?

Contains spoilers for all episodes of "Swarm"

Donald Glover's newest series "Swarm" takes a horrifying turn when fame and obsession violently intersect. The dark first trailer stars Dominique Fishback as the troubled loner Dre, which explores the extreme lengths fans are willing to go to in order to protect the image of their favorite superstars. The series even references history by depicting some of the wildly imaginative stories that emerged from those Beyoncé headline-dominating days, even throwing a bit of truth into the mix.

But just how much of "Swarm" is actually true? The series begins with an unconventional warning declaring, "This is not a work of fiction ... Any similarities to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is intentional." Thankfully, Dre's murder spree in the name of Ni'Jah (Nirine S. Brown) is unbelievable but it was inspired by the hive-like mentality some fans possess. In particular, Beyoncé fans have been known to "sting" certain people they don't agree with, and that draws dark parallels to the incidents seen on "Swarm." The "Beyhive" often spams the comment section of social media posts with identifying bee emojis to let their target know a deadly sting is coming soon.

These extreme reactions are explicitly seen throughout "Swarm," as Dre resorts to violent measures, leaving us wondering what's real and what's invented for the series. 

The series masterfully blends fact and fiction

After tricking FX into making "Atlanta," Donald Glover turned to Amazon Prime for his next subversive series. With fellow "Atlanta" writer and Houston native Janine Nabers, "Swarm" intermingles fact and fiction in the Beyoncé-inspired drama. This starts with the tragic death of Marissa Jackson (Chloe Bailey), who dies by suicide after she and her beloved Ni'Jah suffer an irrevocable heartbreak. 

The original fabricated story, which "Swarm" draws inspiration from, gained traction in 2016 when a young woman by the same name was rumored to have died the same way. False reports said she committed the act after learning about Jay-Z's infidelity with Beyoncé from her visual album "Lemonade." This was ultimately debunked, though the story already made a lasting impact, as "Swarm" reiterates. 

Another uncanny reference is seen when Dre's obsession reaches scary new levels. She takes a bite out of Ni'Jah's face, reminding viewers of the fever dream that was known as the "#WhoBitBeyoncé" phenomenon. These striking parallels take the unnerving nature of "Swarm" to the next level by showing the terrifying power of delusion, which frequently follows extreme obsession. 

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.