Lifetime’s highly anticipated biopic on the late Whitney Houston aired Saturday, January 17 and drew an astounding 4.5 million viewers. While Whitney became the network’s most-watched telecast since the January 2014 release of Flowers in the Attic, it didn’t come without its fair share of drama. Pat Houston, Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law and president of The Houston Estate, released an official statement condemning Lifetime for ignoring the family’s wishes to terminate the project. The contested release of Whitney echoed the backlash spurred by the network’s production of Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, released just two months prior without the consent of Aaliyah’s family. We used Canvs to see how Twitter users felt about these contentious, made-for-TV movies about high-profile, R&B megastars.
Although the film did better in the ratings, Whitney elicited 47% fewer emotional reactions than Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.
Whitney’s lead Yaya DaCosta received 35% more love and good reactions and almost 6,000 more reactions than Aaliyah’s lead Alexandra Shipp.
Vocals, High and Low
Selected to portray some of R&B’s greatests, the cast of Whitney and Aaliyah had some very big shoes to fill. Of mentions about the vocals for each film, Twitter users showed 76% more love and good reactions to Whitney. Conversely, they expressed 76% more hate and disappointment to the vocals in Aaliyah.
Vocals in Whitney
96% love and good reactions & 4% hate and disappointed reactions
Vocals in Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B
20% love and good reactions & 80% hate and disappointed reactions
But that wasn’t all Twitter users had to say. Check out our graphic below, published on AdWeek’s Lost Remote, which focuses on the starpower of the talent behind the cameras.