'Black lives do not matter': Aretha Franklin's family disappointed with 'distasteful' eulogy by reverend
Reverend Jasper Williams Jr. has been slammed by the family for attempting to make a political speech out of the eulogy
The family of the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has come forward and revealed that they were less than happy with the eulogy that had been delivered at the funeral. Reverend Jasper Williams Jr. has been slammed by the family after the funeral for attempting to make a political speech out of his eulogy. At one point during the speech, he even claimed that Black lives don't matter until Black people stop killing each other.
Among the throngs of devastated people who attended the funeral was music icon Stevie Wonder and he was definitely not impressed with the remark. He immediately shouted back to the reverend on stage: "Black lives matter!"
The biggest shocker of the night came from Franklin's nephew Vaughn Franklin. He told the Associated Press in an interview that the entire speech made by the pastor was "very, very distasteful" and that it "caught the family off guard". Vaughn said, "He spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogize her".
Aretha Franklin's family says it found a pastor's eulogy at the soul singer's funeral to be offensive and distasteful. Reverend Jasper Williams Jr. says he respects the family's opinion. https://t.co/Z84XQi4Nmc— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) September 4, 2018
Williams also claimed that Black fathers tend to be absent and that boys need their fathers to become men even though Franklin was a single mother with four boys.
The reverend has apologized for how the Franklin family felt after the incident. He said: "I understand it. I regret it. But I’m sorry they feel that way." He said during the eulogy: "Black lives must not matter until Black people start respecting Black lives and stop killing ourselves."
Williams spoke to AP over the phone and defended his speech by saying: "I was trying to show that the movement now is moving and should move in a different direction. What we need to do is create respect among ourselves. Aretha is the person with that song "Respect" that is laid out for us and what we need to be as a race within ourselves. We need to show each other that."
Unfortunately, this was not the only uncomfortable moment in the highly-televised funeral that got people talking. Bishop Charles H. Ellis has been accused of inappropriately touching singer Ariana Grande after viewers spotted his right hand just beneath her chest. Grande was about to perform one of Franklin's most iconic songs '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman'.
The bishop has also apologized since the incident and said that he had hugged every person on the stage who had spoken at the funeral regardless of gender. He said: "It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar. But, then again, I apologize."
He continued: "I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community. When you’re doing a program for nine hours, you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there. Everybody that was up, I shook their hands and hugged them. That’s what we are all about in the church. We are all about love. The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction on this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin."