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To No Surprise, Houston Family Skips Out On ‘Whitney’ Biopic Premiere

The long-awaited Whitney Houston Lifetime biopic had its premiere recently at the Paley Center for Media, but of all the star-studded guests in attendance, none of them were from the Houston family.

It wasn’t too much of a surprise that the Houston family opted out of the premiere as they have been expressing concerns about the film ever since Lifetime announced the project.

The Houston family felt like the late R&B icon deserved a biopic on the big screen rather than the made-for-TV Lifetime production.

They also refused to give producers the rights to Houston’s music.

The film’s director and colleague of Houston’s, Angela Bassett, commented on the family’s decision not to attend but made it clear that she was not offended by their absence.

“It was the family’s choice and decision because of what they want to do and whatever their desires or their plans are, not to be involved in this one,” Bassett said, according to Billboard.

She also said that people shouldn’t assume that the family is necessarily against the final product.

Bassett said the family had nothing “negative to say about it” and that “sometimes to be silent is the greatest gift.”

The family has not made a public statement about the movie since its premiere but other friends of the iconic songstress were more than happy to come out and support the new biopic.

NBA legend and business mogul Magic Johnson, award-winning musician and record producer David Foster, legendary Motown crooner Smokey Robinson and critically acclaimed singer, drummer and percussionist Sheila E were only a few of the stars who made their way to the premiere.

Some fans are nervous about the film’s authenticity after the Aaliyah biopic that aired on Lifetime failed to deliver and quickly became the laughingstock of the Internet.

Whitney Houston biopicBassett is confident that the Houston biopic won’t have the same results.

Bassett worked with Houston in the past for production and promotion of the 1994 drama Waiting to Exhale, in which they starred together.

“To have that experience of being around her, all that came back to serve me in the making of this,” Bassett said.

Without the family’s blessings, however, some people are concerned about how the voiceover performances will translate in the film.

Former America’s Next Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta, who also starred in Lee Daniel’s The Butler, took on the role of Houston while Deborah Cox provided the vocals for scenes that require singing.

Both stars say they are not surprised at the backlash but also say that the movie is about pleasing Houston, not the critics.

“When we were on set, that’s all I thought about: ‘I don’t really care what any living person thinks,’” DaCosta said, according to Billboard. “‘I want to make her proud.’ And that, for me, is all I needed to be OK with this project.”

There’s also been no word on how Houston’s longtime former husband, R&B star Bobby Brown, feels about a movie that focuses on their tempestuous marriage.

The biopic is scheduled to premiere on Lifetime on January 17.


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