The family of the late gospel singer Mahalia Jackson is fuming mad after the off-screen scandal of American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino. Fantasia will play Mahalia in a biopic movie.
Mahalia Jackson, the gospel singer most famous in the 1950’s, is sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Gospel.” She made strides in the Civil Rights movement and sold millions of records spreading the gospel before her death in 1972.
Producers and family members of Jackson handpicked Barrino for the role of the iconic gospel singer. Production of the movie began earlier this year and is now halted.
Jackson family members are upset that Fantasia is seven months pregnant with a child out of wedlock. Fantasia also received criticism from the family for having a child with her married boyfriend, Antwaun Cook.
Producers of the film are not happy with Fantasia either. An insider claims that producers were upset that Fantasia did not tell them she was expecting until her fourth month.
The insider also claims that Fantasia initially told producers that she was gaining weight for the role of Mahalia when first questioned about being pregnant.
Executive producer of the film Adrian Taylor, told the New York Post, "The family thinks if Fantasia plays the role, it's going to sully the name of Mahalia. They think she's got the wrong image, having a child out of wedlock."
Things on set are getting tense now that production is halted. With Fantasia’s due date not until late December, it might mean that the director of the film could drop due to other obligations. This has caused the budget of the movie to increase from $23 million to $27 million.
Fantasia’s rep in a statement replied, “This is the first time I’ve heard about this. I have no comment.”