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We told you earlier in the week that Aaliyah’s family, including her uncle, Barry Hankerson, who was the singer’s manager during her career, are very upset about the news of the Lifetime biopic. He told TMZ that while the family isn’t opposed to a film on Aaliyah’s life, they want to be involved in it, and see bigger things for her instead of just a simple Lifetime movie.

Hankerson, on behalf of the family, released this statement today, pushing the public to flood Lifetime with letters, emails and more to let them know that trying to do the movie without the family’s say is wrong and shouldn’t happen:

Aaliyah was more than a singer, she was -and is still – an American music icon whose legacy continues to live on and influence today’s music culture, just as Ray Charles, Notorious B.I.G., Selena and Johnny Cash.

Considering the magnitude of her fans’ affection alone, she deserves to have a tribute much more grand than a television network debut that won’t even consider the perspectives of those who were closest to Aaliyah.

Disregarding the families and dishonoring the legacies of celebrated figures who have passed on, big networks want to exploit their stories for a buck. We’re here to make it clear that it’s not okay!

Lifetime Television is trying to dictate the status of our heroes, our heroines and – in this case – our beloved Aaliyah. We implore everyone to call Lifetime Television, send emails and bombard social media so they know we demand respect for our cultural icons.

We will not sit idly by while they misrepresent and reap profits from our luminaries. There is more at stake than the public could imagine.

Way too much going on with this movie at this point. Either people are peeved about Zendaya Coleman playing Aaliyah, or they don’t want the movie to happen at all. At this point, out of respect for the family, Lifetime might want to rethink the whole thing. But I doubt that’s going to happen. What do you think about Hankerson’s statement?

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