Whitney Houston's biopic on Lifetime blew up social media last night, but the estate of the legendary singer released a biting statement just before the controversial film aired asking fans to tune out.
Written by Pat Houston, who is Whitney's sister-in-law and the president of her estate, the statement blasted the Lifetime Network and encouraged fans to not support the film. She also called out director Angela Bassett for using her relationship with Houston (the were co-stars in Waiting to Exhale) to promote the film.
"If you watch this movie, watch it knowing that Lifetime is notorious for making bad biopics of deceased celebrities and brace yourself for the worst," the statement reads. "You should not be surprised that someone decided to do a made-for-TV biopic. And, I might add, without the family's blessing and despite her mother's request to not do this movie. It happens every day. But misrepresenting the term friendship to advance an agenda is not only disrespectful and dishonest but a slap in the face to her true and loyal friends."
The statement continued, "You should expect people will always rise to the occasion for prominence and profit – not love, respect or honor. I question the morality of the making of this [movie] because of the lack of experience knowing Whitney's life. Never would Whitney allow her story to be told by an inexperienced team and how naive of anyone to think otherwise, unless you're caught up in illusions of grandeur that you can just do anything and people will accept it. This made-for-TV movie is certainly not a trailer to Whitney's life story."
From the beginning, the estate has been against the biopic. Pat Houston told BET.com in November 2014, "I would have hoped that people would have enough respect that when the estate said no to a project, they would stand down. But they didn't." Whitney's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown blasted Bassett for agreeing to direct the film. However, Bobby Brown, Whitney's ex-husband, did an hour-long interview with Lifetime, which aired directly after the movie.
In our interview with Yaya DaCosta, who played Whitney, on Friday the actress said, "I was overcome with a sense of compassion and understanding [for the Houston family]. Because I know what it is like to lose a family member and to be defensive and protective. I respect them and I hope they like the film."
Read the full statement from the Houston estate, here.
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