Is it Hollywood’s responsibility when depicting a person’s life to represent that subject as accurate as possible? Lately, however, there have been several complaints by family members and friends of iconic people who recently had their story told on film. Last week, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, blasted the jOBS film that debuted at Sundance, depicting the life of the late Steve Jobs. In a comment to Gizmodo, Wozniak said the film was, “not close…we never had such interaction and roles…I’m not even sure what it’s getting at…personalities are very wrong although mine is closer.”
Now, Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King’s daughters are speaking out on the latest film Betty & Coretta, about their mothers’ lives. In a recent Washington Post story, Ilyasah Shabazz and Rev. Bernice King expressed their frustrations over the Lifetime-produced film, mentioning that it’s full of inaccuracies and fabrications.
“My mother was not a weak, timid, insecure woman as portrayed,” Shabazz said. “She was regal, compassionate, strong, loving, beautiful, resilient and highly educated. That is why the Delta Sigma Theta sororities named academies all across this country after her, so others could be inspired how to turn triumph into tragedy. “If only Lifetime had consulted us, the sisters, maybe this would be more than fiction. I am not pointing my finger solely at them, but it must be our responsibility to ensure history is properly documented.
As said in the Washington Post, The Scott King family is hurt deeply because:
“One of the basic objections was how the film suggested that Coretta Scott King accepted the accusations that her husband was unfaithful to her based on what was supposedly heard on a tape sent by the FBI to the King home. This was not the case, as the King family has said for years.”
Betty & Coretta is based on the relationship between Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King after their husbands were murdered. The story centers how they moved on as single mothers united by a commitment to social justice.
How can audiences take these Hollywood biopics serious if they keep getting complaints from the recipient’s love ones? If the person’s life isn’t exciting enough to make it into a film, they should find someone else. It’s not acceptable to produce films with fabrications just to make a buck. Not only is it wrong, but it represents the people in a light that is inaccurate, thus, creating a false legacy.