The Lifetime biopic “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B,” which rolled out Saturday night, caused a number of terms to trend on social media, with topics including #AaliyahMovie trending on Twitter, along with the negative #LifetimeDisrespectsAaliyah, reports TheWrap.com.
The article notes, “The negative fan reviews are just the topper of a controversial journey for the biopic. Not only was Aaliyah’s family opposed to the movie, its first star, Disney Channel actress Zendaya Coleman, dropped out of the project amid controversy over her casting and her own personal issues over the production. That would be followed with further furor from fans when additional castings, particularly the movie’s choice for Aaliyah’s longtime producer Missy Elliott, led to accusations of “Hollywood colorism” and body bias.”
But while much of the response to the movie was negative, it did bring in viewers — more than 3 million of them Saturday night.
“‘Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B’ had 3.2 million viewers and 1.7 million adults 18-49,” Entertainment Weekly reports. “That makes it the No. 2 TV movie of the year in the adult demo behind Lifetime’s own ‘Flowers in the Attic,’ which aired back in January. (And it means ‘Aaliyah’ out-delivered the ‘Flowers’ sequel, ‘Petals in the Wind,’ though not among total viewers.)”
EW quotes executive producer Wendy Williams offering her own take on the harsh reception for the movie, saying: “I see my Aaliyah movie broke the Internet this weekend! Errbody got an opinion. Well, I must tell you, whether you loved or hate, you watched. It was the second-highest rated movie on all of cable this year so far.”
Airing after the movie, the documentary “Beyond the Headlines: Aaliyah” kept viewers glued to Lifetime, pulling in 2.7 million viewers.