“I just want to be recognized for my music and for what it does, and how it inspires people, and how it makes people feel, as opposed to a talking-about-Whitney-all-the-time kind of thing,” Whitney Houston told the MTV
network in a 2009 interview.
Now, Whitney's sister-in-law and estate manager Pat Houston and Pat's daughter Rayah, as well as Whitney's Houston's brother Gary, daughter Bobbi Kristina and mother Cissy Houston, will now film a show about how they’re dealing with Whitney’s death in 10 hour-long episodes courtesy of Lifetime television.
"I have been working with Simmons Shelley over the past few years developing a project suitable for myself and our family," Houston's sister-in-law, Pat, said about planning to create the series, Rolling Stone
reports. "The unexpected passing of Whitney certainly affects the direction of the show."
Indeed it did. According to Lifetime, the reality show will focus on Pat and Gary "as they take on their greatest challenge, supporting and guiding Bobbi Kristina as she faces the world alone, without the one person she relied on the most, her mother," MTV
Houston's cousin "That's What Friend Are For " songtress Dionne Warwick, and Bobbie Kristina's godmother, gospel legend CeCe Winans, will also appear in the series.
"The tragic loss of Whitney Houston left a void in the hearts of people all over the world, but certainly none more so than her beloved family," Rob Sharenow, executive Vice President of programming at Lifetime, said about the decision to premiere the show on the network. "In this series, the multi-generations of the Houston family will bravely reveal their lives as they bond together to heal, love, and grow."
Pat echoed Sharenow saying, "It is my hope that others will be enlightened as they watch our family heal and move forward."
"Hell to the No!"
Heal. Move forward. Enlightened. These aren't exactly the words that Whitney Houston fans are using on Twitter and elsewhere. Instead they are quoting the late Whitney Houston's own words that she told her then-husband on “Being Bobby Brown,” a reality show that the Bravo cable network broadcast in 2005 –– "Hell to the No!"
Rapper Chuck D said as much.
NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton was also shocked.
Others, were more blunt.
Contributor Roger Friedman compared this move with another famous family.
"Whitney Houston‘s survivors are starting to act more and more like Michael Jackson‘s family. They’re learning to make money from their late star’s death." he writes. "Tasteless? Sure."
The outrage wasn't just aimed at the family. The Chicago Tribune
says: "Lifetime is counting on Whitney's Houston's legacy to capture ratings."
On the Rolling Stones web site one reader notes
: "Rob Sharenow is aptly named, SHARE NOW. It is, sadly, far too early to even consider airing a program about Whitney Houston's passing and her family [supposedly] coming to terms with her passing. Sharenow and Lifetime (a company I used to respect) should be ashamed of themselves in producing/promoting this tasteless show."
But this isn't the first time that Lifetime has been blasted
for appearing to exploit victims of a tragedy.
In fact, an online petition
was started to stop Lifetime TV from further development of Dave Cullen's best selling book "Columbine" -- based on the Columbine High School Massacres -- into a miniseries.
'The Houston Family Chronicles,' is scheduled to premiere later this year.