Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B was aired by Lifetime on Saturday, November 15, and was plagued with so many problems it came closer to breaking the Internet than did Kim Kardashian’s well-oiled posterior. That is because Aaliyah fans, including Timbaland and Trey Songz, got on social media sites like Instagram and voiced their extreme displeasure at the movie.
The displeasure fans expressed was about the entire biopic, which they felt was a grave disservice to the memory of Aaliyah and to her family. Specifically, fans did not like the casting, the acting, and that none of Aaliyah’s songs, using her voice, were used in the biopic. Also, the biopic even got the name of one of her songs wrong. Instead of using the correct title of the song, At Your Best (You Are Love), the movie’s executive producer, Wendy Williams, called it Let Me Know.
Zendaya Coleman had been set to play Aaliyah, until she dropped out of the biopic because she felt the movie was not living up to her standards of what a movie about Aaliyah’s life should be like. Her removing herself from the movie had one person tweeting about the Lifetime disaster, Film Fatale@FilmFatale_NYC, saying that “Zendaya dodged a bullet,” by not appearing in the biopic. Instead, actress Alexandra Shipp portrayed her.
Many fans thought that the biopic focused too much attention to Aaliyah’s relationship with singer R. Kelly, though it did also include some positive aspects about her life. Wendy Williams apparently thought that she was appeasing the family enough by not including scenes of the plane that Aaliyah was on going down and crashing.
Probably the one aspect of Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B that fans expressed the most anger about was the casting. Timbaland famously has called the Lifetime biopic “bullsh-t,” and he should know, as he worked quite a bit with Aaliyah. among other things, he does not like how he is portrayed in the movie, nor of the choice made in casting Izaak Smith to play him or actress Chattrisse Dolabaille to play Missy Elliott.
In all, Timbaland posted almost 20 Instagram videos and comments about the biopic on Saturday night. He wrote about “laughing” at the movie, because it was such “bullsh-t.” In one of the videos, Timbo said “Now you have to deal with the consequences.”
Lifetime has gotten slammed in the past for having been behind biopics that were inaccurate and/or portrayed the subjects of the films in ways that fans did not like to see, like The Brittany Murphy Story and Saved by the Bell biopics. Fans also criticized the CrazySexyCool biopic VH1 aired of TLC, though at least the remaining members of the group included production in the movie.
However, the anger of fans opposed to the Lifetime biopic, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, took criticism of Lifetime and their budget-conscious flicks to a whole ‘nother level. The tweets from fans and other comments made on various social media sources like Facebook and Instagram came possibly even closer to breaking the Internet than did Kim Kardashian’s recent baring of her backside for Paper magazine.
Some of the people who despised the Aaliyah biopic got quite clever in their photos and responses, making up ways that Lifetime make portray other celebrities in future films. For instance, one person used a photo of the singer, Prince, but said that it was supposed to be who Lifetime might cast to portray Kris Jenner in a Lifetime biopic about her life. Another posted a photo of Nicki Minaj with pink hair beside a toy troll with pink hair.
Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B was trending on Twitter on Sunday, but for all of the wrong reasons, meaning because of the negative comments that the biopic was receiving, rather than any positive ones. Perhaps, one day, a fantastic movie will be made about Aaliyah’s life, one that actually does her justice; but, sadly, the Lifetime biopic which aired on Saturday was not that movie.
Written By Douglas Cobb