Update: 5:12 PM EST (August 15 2018)
Fox News has issued an apology about the memorial error with Aretha Franklin and Pattie LaBelle. Jessica Santostefano, Vice President of the network’s news desk claims Franklin was in the photo with LaBelle.
“We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends. Our intention was to honor the icon using a secondary image of her performing with Patti LaBelle in the full screen graphic, but the image of Ms. Franklin was obscured in that process, which we deeply regret.” Santostefano said.
Tributes for Aretha Franklin have poured in since her passing was announced Thursday morning (Aug. 16). They’ve been touching, memorable and most of all, accurate. Fox News missed the memo when they honored the Queen of Soul with a photo of Patti LaBelle.
While reporting on her death for America’s Newsroom, the segment memorializing Franklin ended with the caption, “Aretha Franklin, Singer, 1942-2018.” What fans quickly noticed was a photo of LaBelle in the back to reflect Aretha’s singing chops. The picture stems from LaBelle’s 2014 performance of “Over The Rainbow” for former President Barack Obama. The legendary musician was also in attendance and birthed one of the shadiest moves of all time when she brushed passed LaBelle.
It’s clear whoever made graphic wasn’t aware of their storied grievances towards each other that subsequently ended with the singer’s passing.
“I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin. Today the world has experienced a tremendous loss. Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many,” wrote LaBelle on Twitter.
Rest in peace Aretha. ❤ pic.twitter.com/QT7HeY5SIf
— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) August 16, 2018
See the flub as well as the epic callouts below.
Umm, is that Patti LaBelle in the corner? pic.twitter.com/PmUPpgc0zb
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 16, 2018
Patti Labelle might be surprised that she's not only dead, but she's also Aretha Franklin. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/TDKOKJA9b2
— The Canada Party (@theCanadaParty) August 16, 2018
Well, given that Fox News people have called Japan "communist" and mistook Aretha Franklin for Patti Labelle in one day, I'm going with the latter.
— worm buxx (@kayteterry) August 16, 2018
WHY would Fox News be petty and use this pic of Aretha and add Patti LaBelle in the background?!! pic.twitter.com/vruO5Fm4vh
— VINCENT (@Vince_Aries) August 16, 2018
Because of course Fox News mixes up Aretha Franklin & Patti LaBelle. pic.twitter.com/zIXvD2282B
— Chris Strider (@stridinstrider) August 16, 2018
READ MORE: Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits: Remixed, Sampled And Covered