Saturday, January 22, 2022

Cynthia Erivo Tapped to Play Aretha Franklin in Nat Geo ‘Genius’ Series

Actress Cynthia Erivo of ‘Harriet’ attends The IMDb Studio Presented By Intuit QuickBooks at Toronto 2019 at Bisha Hotel & Residences on September 08, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

*Cynthia Erivo has sparked outrage yet again over her being hired to play iconic Black American women.

The Nigerian-born actress has been tapped to play Aretha Franklin in an upcoming limited series via Nat Geo.

The news comes weeks after it was announced that the Tony Award winner will portray Harriet Tubman in an upcoming project, and calls to have her replaced continue to make waves on social media. From twitter to Instagram, many are asking why a Black American actress wasn’t hired for the role.

Meanwhile, Erivo will reportedly play Franklin in season three of Nat Geo’s EMMY winning anthology series “Genius.”

“Genius: Aretha” will chronicle the career of the Queen of Soul and the global impact she made on music and culture. 

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aretha franklin

Erivo will reportedly perform songs from Franklin’s classic catalogue, and several of the singer’s biggest hits will also be featured in the series, The reports.

“Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl,” said Erivo. “Her strength, passion and soul are evident in her everlasting legacy, not only as a transcendent artist, but as a humanitarian and civil rights icon. To have the opportunity to bring her legacy to life and show the fullness of her being, her humanity and brilliance is an honor. What I know and have learned about what my voice, as an artist, can do and the power it has been highly influenced by Franklin. I feel privileged and excited to be a part of the sharing of her genius.”

Executive producer Brian Grazer had this to say about Cynthia portraying the musical icon.

“Cynthia Erivo blew me away. Not only is she an incredible and bona fide star, but she is soulful and has tremendous depth as a musical artist,” said “Cynthia is the perfect person to portray the profoundly human story behind the genius that is Aretha.”

 “Genius: Aretha” is expected to premiere in Spring 2020 on National Geographic.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Hudson will portray Aretha Franklin in a biopic titled “Respect,” set to begin shooting this fall.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.



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