Lifetime is in big trouble this weekend, as fans voice their concern about a series of unsavory tweets sent out Saturday night during the airing of Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B. One of the major plot points of the film was Aaliyah's relationship with R. Kelly, whom she illegally married in 1994, when she was just 15 and he was 27. The tweets in question have people wondering if Lifetime is romanticizing pedophilia.
Aaliyah (Alexandra Shipp) lied about her age and said she was 18, in order to secretly wed her much-older producer R. Kelly (Clé Bennett). Of course this is a highly inappropriate relationship, and the movie showed her parents hitting the roof and forcing an annulment when they found out about it months after the fact, but the questions posed by Lifetime on Twitter intended to spark debate only incited controversy.
They've since been deleted, but as everyone knows, the Internet is forever, and isn't going to give Lifetime a pass on this one.
"Is Aaliyah too young to know?" and "R. Kelly is almost twice Aaliyah's age. Is that crazy?" were among the deleted tweets, which many people thought trivialized the highly inappropriate relationship between the two musicians.
Here are a couple examples of the backlash Lifetime received:
Oyza. Bad decision, Lifetime.
Shipp, 23, opened up about playing Aaliyah during the scene where her parents find out about her illegal marriage, and called it one of the most difficult to film.
"I think that was pretty hard. I think it was hard for everyone," she confessed. "To be able to get to that place and get to that emotion where you think someone is keeping you from the one person that's making you the most happy brings up a lot of emotion. And when it comes to my method, I always try to take things from my own life for the emotion. And so, that was a really hard scene for me."
There has been a ton of controversy surrounding this movie, including the fact that the late singer's family was not on board with it, but since they went ahead and did it anyway, there was no way to avoid the R. Kelly thing. But the didn't need to put out those tweets so casually asking followers to comment on whether or not they thought the relationship was appropriate. It wasn't. End of story.
Do you think Lifetime made a mistake sending out these tweets?
Image via Mylifetime.com