Aretha Franklin’s family has criticized the eulogy delivered at her funeral last week, calling it “offensive and distasteful.”
Delivered by Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. in Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple on Friday, the marathon eulogy should have focused on the Queen of Soul’s life and legacy.
Instead, his 50-minute speech delved into topics like how children raised without a father at home is like an “abortion after birth.”
The Atlanta pastor also said the Black Lives Matter movement wouldn’t matter “until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves.”
“Williams spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogize her,” nephew Vaughn Franklin said in a statement to Detroit Free Press.
The late singer didn’t ask Williams to give a eulogy, but that’s because plans for her funeral weren’t discussed. Williams was picked by the family because he had spoken at other Franklin memorials in the past.
“We feel that Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. used this platform to push his negative agenda, which as a family, we do not agree with,” Franklin’s statement concluded.
Williams told the Associated Press that he understood their concerns, but didn’t retract his comments. “I regret it. But I’m sorry they feel that way,” he said.
The eulogy was criticized on Twitter for riling against Franklin’s legacy and using her personal life details for his own vendetta, especially as the singer was a single mother herself.
The eulogy wasn’t the only concern to arise from the funeral. The bishop who presided over the funeral apologized for inappropriately touching Ariana Grande, who performed at the commemoration.
And Williams’ eulogy isn’t the only memorial to be accused of self-indulgence. Pop monarch Madonna’s tribute to Franklin at the MTV VMAs saw fans complaining the speech was more about herself, rather than Franklin.
People, show a little more respect.