Black Americans have little “r-e-s-p-e-c-t” for National Geographic’s new series about the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin and are passing on the show altogether, reported Face 2 Face Africa.
“Genius Aretha” is not appealing to Black Americans for many reasons, including its casting of award-winning Nigerian-British actress Cynthia Erivo as Franklin. Ervio is best known for playing Harriet Tubman. In the past, the actress came under fire for mocking the Black American dialect, calling it “ghetto,” thus drawing the ire from National Geographic’s target audience.
However, what is driving most Black Americans away from the eight-part series, which premiered Sunday night, is the lack of support from Franklin’s family. The deceased singer’s son, Kecalf Cunningham, expressed his feelings about the “Genius Aretha” on Instagram in February.
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Cunningham revealed that he had more contention with those responsible for producing the series rather than the actors who were “just doing their jobs.” He asked fans to avoid watching the series when it aired.
However, Franklin’s son Kecalf Cunningham spoke out, claiming the project deal was “pushed through without [the family’s] consent.”
Aretha Franklin’s Son Claims: Genius Aretha Producers Did Not Obtain Family’s Consent, Implores Fans Not to Support [Updat https://t.co/5fiHXy6vhh
— Follow Light within (@kevskewl) March 18, 2021
Cunningham’s displeasure with the series was shared by a Franklin fan on Twitter Sunday night ahead of the show’s airing.
However, Franklin’s son Kecalf Cunningham spoke out, claiming the projected deal was “pushed through without [the family’s] consent.”
— Building Back Better than Ever! (@TravelingUS) March 18, 2021
The Black community is sticking by the family on this one and waiting for the film, “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson.
The crooner-turned-actress was hand-picked by the Queen of Soul. The film will be released later this year.