Genius: Aretha stars British Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo and finally aired last night (March 22) despite boycott from the family.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and is promoted as a four night event.
The Queen of Soul’s granddaughter Grace posted a video of her protesting against the show alongside her parents, siblings and friends last week.
In a TikTok clip, they can be seen chanting: “This movie has to go! This movie has to go!”
“As the immediate family, we feel that it’s important to be involved with any biopic of my grandma’s life, as it’s hard to get any accurate depiction of anyone’s life without speaking to the ones closest to them,” she explained.
“During the process of writing, directing, and filming this movie, we’ve reached out to Genius as a family on multiple occasions where we have been disrespected and told we will not be worked with.
“As the immediate family – emphasis on immediate – we do not support this film and we ask that you also do not support this film, as we feel extremely disrespected, and we feel there will be many inaccuracies about my grandmother’s life.”
A big screen rendition of the life of Aretha Franklin will star Jennifer Hudson and is scheduled to hit theaters this summer. The family had input in its production that took place during the last days of Aretha Franklin before she died of pancreatic cancer in 2018.
The family has not seen the programme before last night’s airing admittedly or plan to watch it at all according to her son. “What we’ve found out in the past is that usually when people don’t want to work with you, that is a prelude to some type of unprofessional behaviour or a prelude to some type of untruth or slander, so we’re not quite sure where we’re going to see in this series,” Franklin’s son Kecalf told Rolling Stone magazine.
National Geographic in response to the family member’s issues stated that it had permission to make the film from Franklin’s estate, which is currently a separate entity amid disputes over the singer’s will.
Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner Cynthia Erivo plays the icon, while Courtney B. Vance plays her incomparable father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, in the biopic.
After taking in the first night of the series, fans got to see the turbulent childhood she encountered being on the Gospel circuit where being unattended at critical times by her pastor father lead to her being pregnant.
The series leaves it up in the air whether or not Aretha Franklin was raped, but she was shown as definitely being molested. It also revealed that she was child star destined for greatness despite her setbacks.
The mini series also did not show her father in the best light despite being a decorated and popular pastor in the Detroit area that was even respected by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We learn that Franklin would marry early in her life to a known pimp in Detroit.
The series dropped some bombs already and we could see why some family members would be against this without their consent on some of these stories included in the series.
Check out some of the reactions below.
— My VP is Black ✊🏾 (@BlackAgitator) March 22, 2021
— Mark Candler (@MarkCandler) March 22, 2021
Recap from Night one- #GeniusAretha is very well done. Who’s watching? What are your thoughts recap from night one?
My first thought? This husband is the same grown ass man who was Dinah Washington’s man when Ree was 12?
Aretha saw TOO much TOO soon…..
what y’all think?
— Sylvia K. Alston (@SylviaKAlston) March 22, 2021
— I Luv TV (@KaylaPatriceDa1) March 22, 2021
— Corgiluve62 (@Corgiluver62) March 22, 2021