Aretha Franklin biopic deliberately didn’t make husband Ted White ‘a monster’

Aretha Franklin biopic deliberately didn’t make husband Ted White ‘a monster’
The actor says the film has a ‘delicate touch’

Marlon Wayans has said the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect could have but chose not to portray the singer’s first husband as a “monster”.

Wayans portrays Ted White, who is alleged to have had a violent and volatile relationship with Franklin.

On the film’s depiction of White, Wayans explained: “I hope Ted White sees the movie and is pleased by the way we handled his character, because we could have painted him as a monster.”

Talking about the relationship between Franklin and White, the Scary Movie star added: “He gets big and his insecurities and his jealousy steps in and there goes the little boy attacking his woman because he just can’t handle it. So I think you just give them layers and approach it with a delicate touch.”

White and Franklin were married just six months after meeting in 1961 when she was only 18. They were together for eight years until 1969.

Before the separation, White also managed Franklin’s career and collaborated with her on songs, including top 10 single, “Think”.

Before her death from cancer in 2018, Franklin very rarely commented publicly on her marriage to White, but a Time story from 1968 alleged that White had “roughed her up in public at Atlanta’s Regency Hyatt House Hotel”.

Pianist Teddy Harris also alleged: “Ted was into something else. He was kind of abusive.”

Franklin, in her autobiography, described her husband as a “take charge kind of guy”.

Respect is released in US cinemas on 13 August.

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