The television film Betty & Coretta, about the wives of Malcolm X and Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., respectively, has attracted plenty of controversy, and now a shot against the historical biopic has been fired by Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Farrakhan, a leader of the Nation of Islam and key player in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, has been accused by many of involvement in the assassination of Malcolm X. Though the accusations have never been proven and Farrakhan has not been convicted in the death of the civil rights leader, he believes his portrayal in the film perpetuates the rumor.
"It is because the murder of Malcolm X is still alive in the hearts and minds of many, and they wish to charge me with that crime in order to seek to destroy my reputation with the people that love and admire me," Farrakhan tells Final Call. "And also, to plant the seed in the hearts of those who don’t know me that I am, in fact, a 'murderer.'"
Farrakhan says he continues to lobby for courts to make public the investigation papers on Malcolm X's death, presumably to clear his own name and rewrite his role in history. "I have appealed to the government to open the files," he says, "so that everything in those files could be made manifest, not only to the Shabazz family, and the families of those so ill-affected by his murder, but also my family and the lives that are constantly put in the public."
Betty & Coretta, produced by the Lifetime Network, stars Mary J. Blige as Betty Shabazz and Angela Bassett as Coretta Scott King and focuses on the roles the two women played in the Civil Rights Movement. Farrakhan reportedly met with Blige recently to discuss the film and perhaps air his grievances.
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