Wendy Williams Turns Film Critic, Gets Backlash From Aretha Franklin’s Family for Blasting Upcoming Documentary ‘Amazing Grace’
Wendy Williams hasn’t been back on her show “The Wendy Williams Show” for even three weeks after taking a nearly three-month break, but she’s already caused a stir by dropping the n-word and weighing in on R. Kelly‘s sexual abuse charges.
Now the talk show host has created another dust-up, this time over Aretha Franklin‘s gospel concert film “Amazing Grace.” It was shot in 1972 and shows Franklin recording her gospel album of the same name inside a Los Angeles church.
Williams talked about the movie during her show on Friday, March 15, and said ,based on how it was shot, it’s not even worth checking out.
“Aretha Franklin was never the easiest woman to deal with,” Williams told her audience. “I say that in a loving way because I knew her too. She gave me the business as well. So there’s this new movie that Aretha never wanted any of us to see, but it’s finally going to hit the big screen. Literally, this is footage from a documentary. If you’re looking for more camera shots you’re not going to get it.”
“Now, you know, Miss Franklin she was very into her showgirl glamour and stuff,” she added. “This was just regular makeup for her. She would want the pressed hair, and the done lashes, and a good outfit, and her background people to be fabulous.”
Williams also said Franklin’s estate would be paying Franklin’s bills with the film, which she claimed was currently in disarray.
The singer’s family responded on Sunday in a statement given to the Detroit Free Press and blasted Williams for her words, especially since she admitted to never seeing the film.
They also said “Amazing Grace” wasn’t shot by an unprofessional like Williams suggested, it was shot by the famed director Sydney Pollack. Plus, it wasn’t to satisfy the singer’s debt, and she didn’t want to appear glamorous in the film.
“1972 was the era of Black Power and Black Is Beautiful,” the statement read. “In her short natural hair and simple makeup, Ms. Franklin was in step with the times and appropriate to the occasion. There was no “showgirl glamour,” no “pressed hair” and no “eyelashes” — the lack of which Williams ridiculed on her program … Her family feels this documentary is another prime example of The Queen of Soul’s genius.”
But Williams did say she was excited to see “Respect,” the biopic about Franklin’s life that will star Jennifer Hudson, who was cast in January 2018. No word when that film comes out, but “Amazing Grace” opens nationwide on April 19.