That awful Aaliyah biopic: Did Lifetime rile up "Black Twitter" on purpose?


My guess is yes, absolutely.

If you haven't heard of Lifetime's Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, good for you. You've been spared from the train wreck that should have never been made in the first place. The film was meant to tell the story of the R&B songstress whose young life was cut short in a terrible plane crash. However, her family and friends opposed the hastily made film, and Lifetime was unable to gain the rights to Aaliyah's music. So yeah, an Aailyah movie with none of the hits that made Aaliyah famous. 

To add insult to injury, Lifetime holds the record, in my book, for worst casting choices (and wigs) in the history of the universe. This is supposed to be Missy Elliott?! 

Gorgeous lady, but no resemblance to Missy at all
Of course Aaliyah's family and friends were understandably upset about the film, and fans tuned in to see just how bad the movie would be. And according to the tweets and posts that I read all night, it was very very bad.

Sometimes bad movies just....happen. But I don't think that's the case here. After losing out on the rights to her music I believe that Lifetime purposefully set out to make the worst movie possible. And here's why:

Live Tweeting equals ratings. 

Live-tweeting television has become so popular that often times shows and movies create unique hashtags for viewers to use while watching. Even Nielson, known for tracking television ratings, has created a system called Twitter TV Ratings, based on number of tweets about the show, and number of unique accounts tweeting about the show.

And guess which TV movie was ranked number one on the Twitter TV Ratings chart this past weekend.

That's right. Lifetime's Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.
I know, I know. It's hard to believe
According to Nielson the movie garnered 997,000 tweets, and brought in 3.2 million viewers.

Why was this horrible movie talked about so much, and why did it do so well?

According to Pew Research, more Black internet users are on Twitter than their white counterparts. Black people have also sort of banded together on Twitter, forming what has now been labeled as "Black Twitter". Black Twitter is described on Wikipedia as "a cultural identity on the Twitter social network focused on issues of interest to the black community, particularly in the United States." So of course Aaliyah, being a very notable and adored figure in the black community, was up for discussion and complaining about Lifetime's terrible movie was an exercise in solidarity. I mean, what brings people together more than a passionate shared hatred? Not much.

Black people, myself included, were waiting for this movie with bated breath just so we could see how bad it was and express our distaste together in real time. Unfortunately that lead to higher ratings and more money into the pockets of the people responsible for the film. Probably just as they planned. 

If you couldn't tell.....I give this film a thumbs down. And a thumbs-down-in-advance to the Whitney Houston biopic they are releasing next. I won't be watching.

What did you think about the Aaliyah movie? Did you tweet about it? Sound off below!

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