The family of Aretha Franklin slammed the clergyman they selected to deliver the eulogy at her memorial service Friday, saying spoke for more than 50 minutes without properly eulogizing the iconic singer.
Franklin’s nephew Vaughn Franklin, speaking on behalf of the family in a statement Monday, criticized the Rev. Jasper Williams for belittling single mothers and the Black Lives Matter movement when his speech was supposed to honor the legendary musician.
“He spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogize her,” Franklin said, adding that Williams’ eulogy “caught the entire family off guard.”
“It has been very, very distasteful,” he said.
Williams’ remarks, which described children raised in a home without a father as “abortion after birth” and that Black lives don’t matter unless Blacks stop killing each other, were particularly offensive to the family.
However, after Williams stated during the eulogy that “Black lives do not matter,” Stevie Wonder, who sat among the star-packed audience, yelled back that, “Black lives matter.”
Williams defended his comments Sunday during a press conference at his church, saying his words were taken out of context.