Whitney Houston Family BLASTS Lifetime Movie In Open Letter — READ IT HERE!
Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law Pat Houston is blasting Lifetime’s new movie, Whitney, which is slated to premiere on Saturday night. As Gossip Cop previously reported, Angela Bassett directed the project, which features one-time “America’s Next Top Model” runner-up Yaya DaCosta as the late music icon. The biopic was filmed without the support of the Houston family, something Pat makes clear in a new open letter on the official Whitney Houston website.
In a post titled “Statement from Pat Houston, President of The Whitney Houston Estate re Lifetime movie,” Pat writes that her daughter with Houston’s brother, Gary, has been peppered with questions about the project by her schoolmates. “She was somewhat exasperated and said she did not get it – that a woman who claimed to be her aunt’s friend would direct a movie that seems so unloving towards her Aunt, and how it could affect her cousin [Bobbi Kristina Brown],” she recalls. “I share with you the thoughts I shared with my daughter yesterday – that there is often a fine line that separates elevation and degradation in the industry. What lifts up one person in the headlines may in fact destroy another.”
The movie largely focuses on Houston’s controversial relationship with Bobby Brown, and reportedly paints a less-than-flattering portrait of the two stars. Pat objects to both the content and the fact that Houston herself can’t possibly defend herself in an away. “I don’t think it ever entered their minds that they were assaulting the legacy of another individual; they just want the job or the opportunity to shine,” writes Pat. “But to do so in such an incredible way, to go after someone who cannot correct what you get wrong, someone who – like so many people, and especially women – struggled to hold up their humanity and live with dignity despite their personal challenges, is wrong.”
She continues, “It is easy to turn a blind eye to other people if you’re not careful. But the needs of Whitney’s family matter. We have dealt with her every emotion from the day she was born until the day she died, which gives us absolute position and absolute authority as a family to feel the way we do about her legacy. We matter. We’re still here. Why wasn’t there a call to myself, Gary, [mother] Cissy or even her daughter? Why deny selected members of the family an advanced copy of the film?”
“As we once again enter a season of bereavement and the strategic timing so close to the anniversary of Whitney’s death,” says Pat, referring to the February 11 date of Houston’s passing, “this is a disappointment that any of us who loved her could do without. This creative pursuit at the expense of the integrity of such an iconic woman, who is voiceless today, reeks of condemnation and deceit. It reeks of enslavement to an industry that will likely do the same to you one day.”
Pat goes on to tell Houston’s “family, friends and fan base,” “If you watch this movie, watch it knowing that Lifetime is notorious for making bad biopics of deceased celebrities and brace yourself for the worst. You should not be surprised that someone decided to do a made for TV biopic. And, I might add, without the family’s blessing and despite her mother’s request to not do this movie.” She also slams Bassett, without mentioning her by name, saying, “Misrepresenting the term friendship to advance an agenda is not only disrespectful and dishonest but a slap in the face to her true and loyal friends.”
“I question the morality of the making of this because of the lack of experience knowing Whitney’s life. Never would Whitney allow her story to be told by an inexperienced team and how naïve of anyone to think otherwise, unless you’re caught up in illusions of grandeur that you can just do anything and people will accept it. This made for TV movie is certainly not a trailer to Whitney’s life story,” says Pat.
She concludes, “God gave us a gift in Whitney and she gave us her best, despite what stories are told. We will wear a breastplate of armor for Whitney and that’s what friends are for. In the spirit of Whitney’s ‘I Go To The Rock:’ ‘On Christ the solid rock I stand… all other ground is sinking sand.’ Let’s just be peaceful in all of this. Truth is violated by silence just as much as by a lie.”
Houston’s mother Cissy further tells People, “I’m glad the Lifetime project is finished. I hope from now on her fans will keep her child, [Bobbi Kristina], in their prayers, and I hope people will let my child rest.” Cissy previously ripped the movie last summer, saying, “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,” the matriarch complained at the time. “We are exhausted by the continuing misinformation and comments offered by people who did not know her. Please, please let her rest.”
Bassett, who co-starred with Houston in Waiting to Exhale, has defended the movie in numerous interviews throughout the production, and as promotion for it kicked up in the last week. As Gossip Cop reported in November, Lifetime’s last biopic, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, was highly-criticized her fans and famous collaborators alike. Will you watch Whitney, and what do you think of Pat’s comments?