Aretha Franklin’s estate is demanding “respect” from Wendy Williams, after the talk show host criticized Amazing Grace, the upcoming concert film starring The Queen of Soul.
In a long statement, the estate says Williams made “inaccurate and disparaging statements” about the 1972 concert film, according to the Detroit Free Press.
On Friday, Williams call the movie “a one-camera shot,” and questioned the competence of the estate. “When you don’t have real professional people doing real professional things for you,” she commented, “sometimes you lose out.”
The estate responded that her remarks “indicate that she has neither seen the documentary nor understands its import or intent.”
The statement continued, “By showing a brief clip out of context and mocking its quality on her show, Williams inaccurately represented Ms. Franklin and the movie to her audience.”
The film’s release was delayed for years after Aretha obtained two court injunctions to stop the release, claiming she had not licensed the use of her likeness. Following her death on August 16, 2018, the estate and producer Alan Elliott reached an agreement to final release the film, according to Variety.
Regarding Franklin stopping the release of the film, the estate says, “Her objections had nothing to do with its quality; negotiations were incomplete at the time of her death.”
The statement concludes, “At a time when the media is fighting a battle against ‘fake news,’ Williams’ continues to perpetuate false facts, and her commentary was irresponsible.”
The film features music from Aretha’s 1972 live double-platinum Amazing Grace album, which won a Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Performance. Amazing Grace will debut in theaters April 19.
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