Producers for the Mahalia Jackson biopic are denying claims that Fantasia may be axed from the film.
Fantasia wasn’t the only one surprised by rumors that she was being edged out of the lead role in a planned film about Mahalia’s life. Double Dutch Productions, LLC (DDP), the production company behind Mahalia!, was caught off-guard by the gossip, too!
The New York Post reported that Mahalia’s family and producers might replace Fantasia because she’s getting ready to have a baby with a married man.
DDP released a statement today asserting that it "extends apologies to Fantasia Barrino for the inaccurate, non-factual and disparaging statements of Ms. Barrino’s reputation, character and image."
The Post quoted a man named Adrian Taylor, who said that using Fantasia in the movie could hurt Mahalia’s reputation and legacy. However DDP has distanced itself from his accusations.
"The comments made in the article by financing broker Adrian Taylor, were not authorized, approved or condoned by the producers of DDP," the company said in a statement. "The information and comments expressed within this article regarding the project were solely those of Adrian Taylor. "
DDP added, "[Adrian] is not an employee of this production company nor an active participant of any facet in the producing of this film."
The company said that Adrian has spoken publicly about Mahalia! a couple times before without DDP’s permission, which has gotten him into quite a bit of trouble.
"[Adrian] has been reprimanded on two previous occasions for speaking to the press about this project," DDP stated. "He was told that he was not a spokesperson nor a producer of the film, nor involved in the production or publicity of the film."
Just to drive their point home, producers said, "Mr. Taylor does not speak for this company or the production of this film. The Mahalia Jackson family has not made any negative comments none-what-so ever about Ms. Barrino and her participation in this film project."