Sometimes I just don’t know what to make of the celeb sense of entitlement. Given, I write for a celeb blog, so I generally take a scalpel to it, but overall afterwards I’m left with a surly look on my face over how jacked up our culture occasionally seems.
Jennifer Holliday, the original Tony Award winning actress from the Broadway musical Dreamgirls feels slighted by the movie version.
Holliday said she was particularly heartbroken when friends told her that it is her version of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” the show’s trademark song, that plays in one of the film’s trailers. In other words, her voice is being used to sell a production that had shut her out.
They own the rights to the song. And you won a Tony award when you were 21 years of age. Jennifer Hudson is 26. Maybe someone else deserves some critical acclaim. Would it have been smarter for them to use the Hudson version? Sure, it’s a great performance. But it’s their markerting department’s call. Maybe they wanted to appeal to the original audience too. Who knows? How is this a knock on you? If anything it’s a compliment. The article continues:
“Why is it necessary for them to wipe out my existence in order for them to have their success?” Holliday said. “It’s scary that they can be so cruel. I know it’s business, but why do they have to go to this extreme? I’m a human being. I need to work too. Why do I have to die to make them a winner?”
How is it cruel? And how the hell is she “dying?” What does she deserve, a cameo? It’s Paramount’s production and they wanted to start fresh. A movie is not a musical. Besides that, you’ve built a career out of your original Dreamgirls performance and when it wins the Oscar for best picture (which, having seen it, I can tell you it will) you’ll get even more attention for your original portrayal. You should be thanking your lucky stars that work you did 20 years ago is still relevant. Most artists would KILL to be you.
The article goes on to say that life is now imitating art because the story of Dreamgirls involves how harsh the music industry can be. As a footnote it mentions that Holliday was difficult to work with in the original stage play, has been uncooperative with Paramount, and has declined to see a screening of the movie.
Speaking from experience I can tell you Paramount would have used her if possible. They use everyone. I’ve damn near interviewed grips for big buzz movies. The fact that they’ve turned their backs on her means something. That “something” is that she wanted the new Dreamgirls to be all about her. Well it’s not.
It’s high time for a new star to shine, my girl Jennifer Hudson. She’s fantastic in this role and it’s a shame that petty jealousy doesn’t allow someone else to see that. Hudson will also win an Oscar here and I’d bet the house she pays homage to Holliday. That’s what people with class do.