Producer defends Aaliyah TV biopic branded ‘bulls**t’ by Timbaland

Wendy Williams says she is 'proud' of the film's representation of a two-parent black family

US chatshow host Wendy Williams has defended the controversial TV biopic of Aaliyah, insisting she is “proud” to have served as its executive producer.

Titled Aaliyah: Princess Of R&B, the TV movie premiered on US cable network Lifetime over the weekend and attracted a torrent of criticism on Twitter – for its script, actress Alexandra Shipp’s lack of resemblance to Aaliyah, and its soft depiction of R Kelly, who married the late singer when she was just 15.

Shortly after the film began to air, Timbaland – who produced many of Aaliyah’s best-loved tracks – took to Instagram to brand the film “bulls**t”, and told Williams: “You know you f**ked up right?”

Now Williams has hit back at the biopic’s critics, Billboard reports, saying: “As a black woman I was proud to show that Aaliyah came from a two-parent family, which many of us don’t.”

Continuing, Williams admitted that the film “painted R. Kelly in a more tasteful light than perhaps others would, and I think it was extremely tasteful not to show her going down in a fiery wreck”.

Williams also attempted to rationalise the negative reaction to Aaliyah: Princess Of R&B, adding: “I think when you do a movie about a people’s favourite, whoever that favourite is, people are always going to have some criticism. You really can’t win for losing, kind of sort of.”

Aaliyah Dana Haughton died in a plane crash in August 2001, aged 22. Her seven-year career saw a string of hits including ‘Back & Forth’, ‘One In A Million’ and ‘Try Again’, as well as leading roles in the films Romeo Must Die and Queen Of The Damned.