Is Swarm based on a true story?

By Kieran Burt
Published: March 18, 2023
View all

Is Swarm based on a true story? We discuss whether the Amazon Prime Video series is based on real-life events or whether it’s fictional.

Swarm is a tale that many people might recognize because it isn’t too far from true events. Creators Donald Glover and Janine Nabers bring audiences a show whose premise is instantly familiar to many people who have spent time on social media and aiming at militant fandoms and the danger they pose.

The show follows Andrea Greene (or Dre), an obsessed music fan, taking their admiration of a pop star to an extreme level. It’s very much a commentary on fandoms in the music world but also a lesson about the toxicity that comes with it.

Is Swarm based on a true story?

Who is the Swarm TV show based on?

Swarm is analogous to many things in music fandoms, but perhaps it is based on Beyoncé and her fans. While not based on a true story, the disclaimer for each episode makes it abundantly clear that true events very much inspire this piece of fiction.

The artist in the show, Ni’Jah, is very clearly based on Beyoncé. Ni’Jah’s fanbase is called The Swarm, and if anyone speaks ill of her, the swarm goes after them. This is an apparent reference to Beyoncé’s fanbase called The Beyhive, which takes pride in flooding people’s comments sections with bee emojis if they make a nasty comment about their queen. It’s presumably followed by a cry of “yes, we really stung that hater!”

Dre isn’t based on anyone, and neither are her acts in the show, but they’re very much inspired by true events from massive fandoms across the music world. She is exaggerating how some overzealous fans, or stans as they’re known, who get aggressive on social media.

Is Swarm about Beyonce fans?

For the most part, Swarm is about Beyoncé fans. Two acts in the show almost take like-for-like from actual events. In one scene, Dre bites Ni’Jah, which is precisely what happened to Beyoncé during an after-party at a concert. In another instance, Dre attempts to rush the stage to meet her idol, similar to an incident during a concert in August 2018.

The show’s creators spoke to Den of Geek about the legal challenges of creating a fictional character based around Beyoncé and her vast fandom.

“Amazon is a very successful corporation, so nothing gets past them that is not finely combed through,” Nabers said. “When we set out to write this show, we were focusing on a feeling – the feeling that this pop star gives. Obviously, Beyoncé is the most famous Black woman singer in the world. People will project that onto the character, which is fine. But it’s really feeling. Beyoncé and Donald are also really good friends, so it’s not like we’re throwing anyone under the bus on this show.”

But Swarm isn’t just aiming at the radical fan bee-haviour of Beyoncé, as it’s unfortunately common to other large fanbases, such as the Korean pop group BTS and Taylor Swift.

What is the Amazon Prime Video series Swarm about?

Swarm is a thriller-comedy about one person’s obsession with her pop idol and how she takes it too far. It stars Dominique Fishback as Dre and Chloe Bailey as her sister Marissa and shows Dre take her love for popstar Ni’Jah, played by Nirine S. Brown, to dark places.

While the show isn’t based on a true story, it isn’t a complete work of fiction. It’s a look in the mirror about the state of some fandoms and a warning for people not to go too far. Stories about people stalking celebrities and trying to kill them exist, so Dre isn’t far from reality as audiences would like to believe.

Amazon Prime Video, News, Streaming Service
View all