Timbaland, Fans Blast Lifetime for ‘Aaliyah’ Biopic

Aaliyah The Princess of R and

Lifetime’s “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B” has been controversial since its inception, with the family of the late singer coming out in disapproval for the film. However, since the film aired Saturday night, the Internet has been abuzz with criticism for the TV movie, including Timbaland, who worked extensively with Aaliyah and is portrayed in the film.

The producer took to Instagram to air his grievances, saying in one video, “This is why people should never remake movies. Bulls–t happens. Now you have to deal with the consequences.”

Timbaland continued to put up posts throughout the night criticizing the film, and fans of Aaliyah, who died at 22 in 2001, also took to Twitter to blast both the movie and Lifetime’s Twitter, which was live-tweeting as the film aired.

Many have accused the network of romanticizing the relationship between R. Kelly and Aaliyah, who illegally married when Aaliyah was 15 and Kelly was 27.

“Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B” garnered significant pushback long before it hit the air. Her family was vocally opposed to the project and, as the family owns the rights to Aaliyah’s music, none of it appeared in the biopic.

Casting also created a stir. Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman was originally cast as Aaliyah, but dropped out in June, later saying that she didn’t “morally okay moving forward with the project” after she was unable to get in touch with late singer’s family. Alexandra Shipp would go on to star as Aaliyah.

Executive producers Howard Braunstein and Debra Martin Chase told the Washington Post they tried to keep the movie tasteful, defending their choice to move forward despite the controversy and without the music of the biopic’s subject.

“Biopics are hard,” Chase admitted. “People have an opinion and social media allows them to voice that opinion. But at the end of the day, our goal was to make the best movie possible.”​

Lifetime has not yet responded to request for comment.

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  1. Tanya Renee says:

    It’s amazing to me that now Wendy (a proud black woman, when it’s convenient) is trying to sell us on the false premise that her foremost objective in producing this movie, was to tell the world that Aailyah came from a two-parent family. Truth be told, the only aspects she focused on during her incessant plugs and promotions of the movie were the most salacious parts of Aailyah’s life. As an authentically proud black female, I can tell you she did nothing to honor this talented, beautiful, beloved, young black woman. She decided to throw her support, influence, and name behind this project in hopes that enough of us would react the way her studio audience does, by applauding her shameful, disrespectful, irreprehensible behavior. Wendy doesn’t care what we think about the movie, or how we feel about her throwing massive shade on Aailyah’s legacy. After the show aired, Wendy thumbed her nose at the millions of us who watched and subsequently engaged in our own “hot topic” discussions about the disapproval, disappointment, and disillusion with this ill-fated project. She basically gave us the proverbial middle finger, by saying, “I must tell you — whether you loved or hated [it], you watched”. Wendy is quoted as saying, “It was extremely tasteful not to show [Aaliyah] going down in a fiery wreck.” What difference did it really make when at the end of this atrocity of a movie, Aailyah’s image was left severely singed. Sadly we all know the unfortunate source of Aailyah’s demise, and now Wendy’s shown us her selfish attempt at killing the legacy of Aailyah’s spirit. Hey Wendy, “How you doing?”

  2. Buggin Out! says:

    The amount of Floyd Mayeather-level arrogance and money hungry serpents it takes to greenlight a movie about a 22 year old when you don’t have the family, friends or colleagues permission. Sheesh.
    LifetimeBeLike…

  3. Chris says:

    What’s next, Brandy: The Early Years? (As if there were any later ones).

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