More Fantasia Drama: When a Producer is Not a Producer and a Spokesman is Not a Spokesman

Umph.  I saw this story over at Your Black Gossip, and if this episode is as bad as it seems, both Fantasia and these guys deserve each other.  Check this:

It was previously reported that the family of Mahalia Jackson thinks that Fantasia Barrino is not good enough to play the gospel legend in an upcoming biopic because she is expecting a child with her married lover, Antwaun Cook.

“The family thinks if Fantasia plays the role, it’s going to sully the name of Mahalia,” executive producer Adrian Taylor told the NY Post. “They think she’s got the wrong image, having a child out of wedlock.”

When Taylor spoke to Page Six about the private life of Fantasia Barrino, he couldn’t have been expecting a public reprimand — but that’s exactly what has happened.

Fantasia, due in December and on bed-rest, stopped by the Wendy Williams Show to set the record straight on everything from lying producers to whether or not she’s still with her child’s father. She told Wendy that she had no idea that the producers felt that way, and that the family of Mahalia Jackson had not voiced any concerns. She also said that when she first heard the rumor she was so upset that she almost went into labor.

Now that last one was a bit overboard if you ask me, but knowing by now Fantasia’s penchant for the dramatic, it is reasonable to assume that she probably did get the vapors and panicked.  Naturally, the producers of the troubled Mahalia! docudrama went into damage control almost immediately, delivering a statement of support for Barrino and contending that Adrian Taylor was not a producer, an executive producer, or even their spokesperson:

Double Dutch Productions, LLC (DDP) extends apologies to Fantasia Barrino for the inaccurate, non-factual and disparaging statements of Ms. Barrino’s reputation, character and image, that was stated in the October 7, 2011 article of the NY Post’s “Page Six” column.

The comments made in the article by financing broker Adrian Taylor, were not authorized, approved or condoned by the producers of DDP. The information and comments expressed within this article regarding the project were solely those of Adrian Taylor.

Taylor is not an employee of this production company nor an active participant of any facet in the producing of this film. Taylor has been reprimanded on two previous occasions for speaking to the press about this project.  He was told that he was not a spokesperson nor a producer of the film, nor involved in the production or publicity of the film. Mr. Taylor’s credit of Executive  Producer will be valid only pending a final contract for financing.  DDP and its producers disavow any statements or comments attributed to this article that were inappropriately made. Mr. Taylor does not speak for this company or the production of this film.

The Mahalia Jackson family has not made any negative comments none-what-so-ever about Ms. Barrino and her participation in this film project.

We at DDP want to assure Ms. Barrino that in no way are we responsible for the information that was included in the article. ANY FUTURE COMMENTS FROM OUTSIDE PARTIES REGARDING THIS FILM THAT ARE NOT DIRECTLY PROVIDED BY DDP OR ITS PUBLICIST WILL BE DEEMED AS VOID, BOGUS AND INACCURATE.

Well, bet your ass Taylor won’t be an executive producer now.

But what if his–and others’–idea was to remove from or make Barrino leave the production by blabbing about her affair with Antwaun Cook, the supposed father of her child, and how it was yanking their chain and costing them money?   Call me suspicious, but I still fail to  see this episode as the work of someone who merely ran his mouth or got too big for his britches.  Taylor went to “Page Six,” an influential gossip column (in a Rupert Murdoch paper), to put Barrino on blast.  This guy was a financing broker for the project: that is, he was charged with finding sources–banks, individuals, groups–that were willing to put up monies for the film for a certain percentage back on the investment.   What if the financing sources–even if they were only on Taylor’s end–were getting skittish or were refusing to open up their pocketbooks?  What if the deal was scuttled with Barrino, and then was revived with another, but possibly better actress-singer and even on Broadway?  This kind of thing can happen.  No, I prefer to see it as a trial balloon that went down in flames, and Double Dutch Productions went down with it.

I know a lot of people were saying, what does it matter to the Jackson estate whose baby Fantasia was having?  They knew what they were getting into.  Perhaps so, but look at what happened when Janet Jackson had a “wardrobe malfunction” and thus lost her role as Lena Horne in a made-for-TV production.

Don’t get me wrong, but I think that these guys had better get their ducks in a row and figure out exactly what they want to do with–or without–Fantasia Barrino.  If people continue to see trouble with the production of this film, they will get the idea that it will suck at the box office unless Fantasia delivers the performance of a lifetime.  I know that it was said to be a fabrication by Adrian Taylor, but I don’t particularly savor the idea that she may have lied to the producers about whether she was gaining weight to resemble the gospel singer and that she was actually pregnant during production.   Even the National Enquirer didn’t pick up on that one, merely that she was getting fat like other celebrities that they featured.  And while the producers did not mention this aspect of the story, losing top-rated Euzhan Palcy, one of the few black female (from Martinique) directors in the world, while awaiting the birth would be considered a failure as well.

At any rate, these issues let in the possibility of Barrino being sued, especially if the film tanks before or after it is released, and she does not need that.

Fantasia had better focus on that film, as well as that baby.

~ by blksista on October 14, 2011.

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