Fox News Used A Patti LaBelle Photo In Tribute To Aretha Franklin

Aside from the fact that the blunder is a terrible look for Fox News, it is also offensive to Patti LaBelle, who is very much still alive and well.

Singer Aretha Franklin performing at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2012.

Fox News had to tuck its tail between its legs, so to speak, and apologize for mistakenly using a photo of singer Pattie LaBelle in a tribute to Aretha Franklin, who passed away on Thursday.

“We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends,” said Jessica Santostefano, vice president of the Media Desk at Fox News, in a statement. "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.”

The mistake was brought to light by viewers, and screen grabs quickly began making their rounds on social media.

The problem with Santostefano’s explanation is that, the image the network used of LaBelle is from a 2014 PBS special during which LaBelle performed “Over the Rainbow” solo, according to Deadline.

Therefore, it seems quite impossible that they were trying to use a photo of the two legends singing together.

Aside from the fact that the blunder is a terrible look for Fox News, it is also offensive to LaBelle, who is very much still alive. In fact, she tweeted condolences of her own upon learning of Franklin’s death.

In addition to demonstrating just how careless and oblivious Fox News is, mixing up the two African-American female icons speaks to the network’s overall dismissive attitude toward black news and black people.

Their hosts are known for making racially-insensitive remarks and casting African-Americans in a negative light in their reporting.

Their paltry attempt to honor Franklin fell completely flat, and Santostefano’s half-hearted apology fails to make up for their negligence as a so-called news organization.

Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: 
Patti Labelle image credit: Reuters, Joshua Roberts
Aretha franklin image credit: Reuters, Jose Luis Magana

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