Timbaland is rocking the boat in his late friend Aaliyah‘s defense. The musician and producer, 42, took to Twitter and Instagram this weekend to speak out against the Lifetime biopic about the late “Rock the Boat” singer.
Aaliyah, who died at the age of 22 in August 2001, was the subject of Lifetime’s Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B movie, which chronicled the celebrated star’s life. She was played by Nickelodeon actress Alexandra Shipp in the movie’s Saturday, Nov. 15 debut.
Timbaland, who was a friend and collaborator of Aaliyah’s, was one of many who took issue with the biopic. Fans spoke out on the casting, including the portrayals of Missy Elliott and R. Kelly, as well as Lifetime’s treatment of the late singer’s life.
Timbaland first shared a photo of the movie’s poster, writing, “Hope yall not watching this!!!!!!!!”
The performer, who worked with Aaliyah on songs like “Hot Like Fire” and “If Your Girl Only Knew,” went on to share a variety of memes mocking the movie, as well as shots of the late performer with quotes. Elliott chimed in that she wasn’t watching either, responding to Timbaland with a message for Aaliyah’s family, writing, “My prayers go to @Rad_6 & ma Diane to lose a sister & daughter then father they been thru so much.”
Timbaland then recorded various videos on Instagram, commenting on Lifetime’s version of his friend’s legacy.
“A lot of people keep asking me, am I watching that bulls–t?” he said in one clip. “Evidently not. No way. Not Timbo.”
Calling it “that bulls–t Aaliyah movie,” he went on to add, “This is why people should never remake movies. Bulls–t happens, bulls–t happens. Now you have to deal with the consequences.”
Timbaland also targeted executive producer Wendy Williams, sharing a meme reading, “Wendy Williams, You know you f–ked up, right?”
Shipp, 23, stepped into the spotlight to play the star, who died in a plane crash in the Bahamas. She spent much of this past weekend retweeting and interacting with supportive fans. The Drumline: A New Beat star also spoke to Time magazine, commenting on her casting after Disney star Zendaya Coleman backed out of the role.
“After it was released that Zendaya was cast in the role, I remember reading all the backlash,” Shipp told Time. “It was kind of ridiculous. I was like, ‘This girl is a great actress. She’s going to do a great job, and it’s a great production.’ Once I got offered it, I wondered if that was going to happen to me. But then I read the script and talked with the producers and talked about how they wanted to make this movie great. I had to put all that stuff aside. I deleted Twitter off my phone. I deleted Instagram. And I just did my job.”
For her part, Coleman kept mostly quiet on the movie. She tweeted on Saturday, Nov. 15, referencing Aaliyah’s loved ones. “Instead of hate, let’s focus on sending that love and respect,” she wrote. “I’m speaking of to the Haughton family…in our prayers and hearts.”
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