The Lifetime Network will premiere a hotly-anticipated made-for-TV biopic about late singing legend Whitney Houston and her troubled romance with R&B baddie Bobby Brown later this year.
The anticipation is fairly low, however, for Whitney’s loved ones. On Tuesday, Whitney’s mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, went on record with her disappointment over the film, titled I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story.
In a statement to Entertainment Tonight, the elder Houston said:
“Lifetime has chosen to go ahead with the movie about Whitney in spite of my family’s objections. No one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with Bobby. In the two years since Whitney’s death, many people have stepped forward to speak about their close relationship with her. I find it difficult to believe people who knew and supposedly loved her would participate in a movie about her done by folks who didn’t know her. We are exhausted by the continuing misinformation and comments offered by people who did not know her. Please please let her rest.”
Bobbi Kristina Brown, Whitney and Bobby’s only daughter, has taken her displeasure with the project to the Twitterverse. Bobbi Kris raised eyebrows when she blasted Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett — who co-starred with Whitney in 1995’s Waiting to Exhale — for failing to cast her to play her famous mom.
The plum role of Whitney went to America’s Next Top Model alum Yaya DaCosta instead. Arlen Escarpeta will play Bobby.
The Houston family has made it difficult for Lifetime to obtain rights to Whitney’s catalogue. The biopic will feature Houston’s music with R&B singer Deborah Cox providing the vocals for her hit songs.
Whitney is one of two departed R&B legends Lifetime has tapped for the life story treatment…to the behest of the artist’s family. The network’s proposed Aaliyah biopic has been met with opposition from the singer’s survivors; the controversy prompted Disney star Zendaya Coleman to drop out of the project.