Producer behind many of Aaliyah's hits expresses disapproval for Lifetime's controversial biopic
The film – which premiered on Saturday (November 15) on the Lifetime network – had been met with resistance from the family of Aaliyah, who hired a lawyer in an attempt to get production blocked. Speaking in June, the singer’s uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson claimed that the family had not been contacted about the film and were preventing attempts to use any of his niece’s music.
Titled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, the film finds up-and-coming actress Alexandra Shipp taking on the role of the ill-fated singer. Shipp, previously best known for her role in the Nickelodeon series House of Anubis, was cast as Aaliyah in July as a replacement for Zendaya Coleman, who chose to leave the production.
Shortly after the film began to air, Timbaland – who produced many of Aaliyah’s best-loved tracks – shared a picture of its poster accompanied by the caption: “Hope yall not watching this!!!!!!!!”
The producer proceeded to share a succession of memes mocking the biopic, including one proclaiming that “Lifetime disrespects Aaliyah” and another telling the film’s executive producer, US chatshow host Wendy Williams: “You know you f**ked up right?”
He also posted a pair of Instagram video clips in which he is seen calling the film “bullsh**t” before concluding: “They have felt Timbo’s wrath tonight, baby!”
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.