So…that didn't go over well.
Lifetime's already-controversial biopic on late R&B star Aaliyah premiered to near-universal scorn over the weekend, with fans and the singer's former collaborator Timbaland slamming the film on social media and even spawning the Twitter hashtags #Lifetimebiopics and #LifetimeBeLike, which humorously postulate a number of other potentially-wrongheaded celebrity hagiographies on the network. The rapper/producer was especially harsh, urging fans not to watch and later re-posting several #Lifetimebiopic memes, in addition to a series of videos in which he blasted the film:
“A lot of people keep asking me if I”m watching that bullshit,” said the hip-hop impresario on Instagram. “Evidently not. No way. Not Timbo.”
Particular scorn was heaped on talk-show host Wendy Williams, who executive-produced the film for the network, with a number of memes taking her to task for her involvement:
Criticism was also doled out regarding the film's casting choices, with many decrying that the actors portraying Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Timbaland and others held little resemblance to their real-life counterparts:
The project has been marred by controversy from the start; not only did friends and family of the late singer condemn the project early on, the film's original star – singer/actress Zendaya Coleman – subsequently dropped out, citing “complications with the music rights” and moral reasons for not moving forward with the role. She was later replaced by “Drumline: A New Beat” star Alexandra Shipp, who has been retweeting messages from her supporters since the film's premiere but has otherwise remained mum on the backlash.
Aaliyah died at the age of 22 when her plane crashed on a return trip from the Bahamas, where she was shooting the music video for her 2001 single “Rock the Boat.” She released three studio albums during her lifetime and scored 13 Top 40 singles including the No. 1 hit “Try Again.”
You can check out a roundup of some of the more inventive social media reactions below:
– Bay Area Hooligan (@sleepyiguana) November 16, 2014
– MEL (@Mel_1004) November 16, 2014
– Tee Dot James (@SlapahoeIndian) November 16, 2014
– St.Laurent Fitz (@IamPrinceEden) November 17, 2014
– Don Júan Wíggávélle (@Wiggavelle) November 16, 2014
– Bae'isha Jenkins (@TheEliteFleet) November 16, 2014