With the casting of Jennifer Hudson in the lead role and the fact that the film has already begun production, I believed that things with the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect were coming together nicely.
But apparently, at least one member of the Franklin family is not pleased. Aretha’s son, Kecalf Franklin, hopped on Facebook to share his grievances.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Kecalf, who goes by the name Eradesent Views on Facebook, wrote in all caps:
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“Once again…the Franklin family (does not) support the movie that is in production!!!!! Nor do we support the book “The Queen Next Door”!!!!! Neither entity felt the need to contact the (core) family about anything!!!!! How can you make a movie about a person and not talk to the persons sons or grandchildren about important information? How can you put a person’s family (image) in a book and not ask permission?”
Kecalf encouraged real fans of his mother not to support these projects:
“Ask yourself…would you want this done to you?”
If you were wondering if he took specific issue with Jennifer Hudson, the answer is no. He made sure to note:
“the ‘ONLY’ person my mother was in favor of for the movie was JENNIFER HUDSON. Period. Everything else being done is against our wishes.”
He signed the post, “The ‘Real’ Franklin Family (sons and grandchildren).”
This is not the first time Kecalf has taken issue with the way things have been handled since his mother’s passing in 2018. The Detroit Free Press reports that Kecalf has been in and out of the Oakland County Probate Court where he has been fighting to be named executor of Ms. Franklin’s estate.
Currently, her niece Sabrina Owens runs it.
David Bennett, Ms. Franklin’s longtime attorney and lead counsel for the estate, suggests that Kecalf’s actions are an attempt to become representative for the estate.
The whole matter has been up for debate since wills were discovered last spring which seemed to provide conflicting mandates from Ms. Franklin about who should be the executor of her estate.
A judge authorized handwriting experts to assess the validity of the documents.
Bennett also noted that Kecalf does not represent all family members involved.
“He does not speak for the family. I know he doesn’t speak for his brother Ted White or his brother Clarence Franklin. The grandchildren have absolutely nothing to do with this. What he’s really doing is talking for himself.”
To Bennett’s point, court filings from White and Clarence Franklin, from this past summer, supported Owens in her role as the estate’s representative.
Bennett also shared that Respect will cover a very specific period of Franklin’s life.
“Odds are, Kecalf Franklin either was not alive, or was of such tender young age, that he wouldn’t have direct knowledge of matters.”
He also shared that to his knowledge members of the family have not reached out to MGM to share to participate in the film.
In regards to the book The Queen Next Door, it is a collection of images taken by Franklin’s personal photographer Linda Solomon.
Kecalf said the core family was not consulted in the making of this book either. But Owens wrote the book’s afterword.
During the book’s release party, Solomon said, “These are respectful and loving tributes. Without them, we cannot continue to share and respect the legacy of Aretha Franklin. We’ve got to continue to teach her legacy. If we don’t, she’ll fade away.”