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New Announcement of Aaliyah Biopic Causes Controversy with Fans and Family

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rock the boat


The recent announcement from the Lifetime network that they will be producing a posthumous biopic about the entertainer Aaliyah Haughton has caused a stir of mixed opinions and emotions from various directions. Aaliyah fans have reportedly had opposition over the leading actress of the book based movie, Disney star Zendaya Coleman. While some comments make vague opposing remarks, others have made comments that alluded to the lack of her physical and cultural resemblance to Aaliyah due to her biracial background. As for the harshest criticism, it comes from those in her family who has threatened ensuing legal woes for Lifetime network in an attempt to block the movie from production. In particular, her uncle, and former manager, Barry Hankerson, spoke as a representative of the family when he stated to TMZ that the Lifetime network is “too small” of a network “for someone as big as Aaliyah.” As for me, this lead to my own formulation of certain questions. Question number one being: What is the real issue? After a short bit of research, I found that Aaliyah’s posthumous career has included several works, including but not limited to, movies, a book written by former Time magazine music editor (which the biopic will be based off of), and a studio album which will be produced by Drake and 40. While the uncle, former manager, and apparently, appointed spokesperson and representative of the Haughton family has come out and stated that they are against Lifetime making a biopic about Aaliyah because it is “too small,” I ask the question, so what about all of the other posthumous works that have been released. For instance, “Queen of the Damned,” released in 2002, grossing domestically over 30 million dollars. As for her posthumous discography, the 2002 album entitled, I Care 4 U, which sold in its first week nearly 300,000 copies, Ultimate Aaliyah was released in 2005, and another that was released in 2012, all by the Blackground Record Label…ironically owned by, yep you guessed it, uncle Barry Hankerson. In fact, it is highly likely that Uncle Barry owns all of her unreleased recordings, because in 2014 Blackground Records collaborated in the production efforts for the single “Enough Said” by Drake ft. Aaliyah with Drakes label, Octobers Very Own. Thus, perhaps this tv movie production with Lifetime is just not enough dollars to uncle Barry and the Haughton family for it to make any sense…