The reverend’s speech may have been 50 minutes long, but Aretha’s family doesn’t think he honored the icon. Click here for his comments on single moms — and the Franklin family’s response!
Looks like Bishop Charles H. Ellis II isn’t the only clergyman under fire for the role he played at Aretha Franklin‘s funeral on Aug. 31. Reverend Jasper Williams Jr. isn’t being bashed for groping Ariana Grande after her performance like the bishop, but he is being accused of dissing Aretha in his 50-minute eulogy. In fact, her nephew Vaughn Franklin has spoken out in a statement with the family’s thoughts on the reverend’s speech. “We found the comments to be offensive and distasteful,” he said. “We feel that Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. used this platform to push his negative agenda, which as a family, we do not agree with.”
So what exactly did he say in his eulogy about the icon? Not much, which was the problem. Instead, he shared his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, saying, “Black lives must not matter until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves.” He also bashed single motherhood, even though Aretha was a single mother to four boys. With that in mind, you’d think the reverend wouldn’t have dared say, “There are no fathers in the home no more,” going on to compare raising kids this way to “abortion after birth.”
Aretha didn’t ask for this reverend to speak at her funeral, since she didn’t make any plans for the event before passing away from pancreatic cancer at 76. But since he had eulogized other members of the Franklin fam, he seemed like a good fit — until the cameras seemed to get the best of him.
But while the family has accused him of taking advantage of the platform Aretha’s televised funeral provided, Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. hasn’t exactly apologized. “I understand it,” he told The Associated Press. “I regret it. But I’m sorry they feel that way.”