Wendy Williams has a huge job on her hands. Not only is she entering yet another season of her popular talk show, but she’s also the executive producer of Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic. Needless to say, over the last couple of months, the movie has been marred with issues—from Zendaya Coleman, who was first cast as Aaliyah, leaving the project to Aaliyah’s family declaring a pre-emptive legal strike against the movie. But Williams is defending her project.
Two of the major issues surrounding the film have to do with the deceased singer’s family. Back in June, Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah’s uncle and former manager, said that the family was peeved that no one from the network contacted them about the movie. Hankerson also said that the family had hired a lawyer and would block any attempt by Lifetime to use any of Aaliyah’s music, as well as the release of the film. The family also feels that Aaliyah’s life story deserved to be a theatrical release and not a made-for-TV movie.
In August, Aaliyah’s family tapped erotic-fiction writer Zane to pen the script for a feature film to rival Lifetime’s movie. But Williams thinks the family is out of touch.
“In my opinion, TV trumps motion picture,” Williams said Wednesday, according to New York’s Daily News. “In my opinion, as a woman who loves to lay in the house and watch a motion picture, I feel that the family might be a little misguided in the power of box office versus TV. Lifetime will play the movie over and over. TV is the way to get your story told.”
Williams also expressed her opinion about Coleman dropping out of the movie after criticism that she was not “black enough.” “I thought Zendaya would have made a great Aaliyah,” Williams said.
Only time will tell how successful the Lifetime biopic is. The movie is slated to air in February 2015.