Recently Lifetime Movie Network premiered the biopic to the late Aaliyah Haughton titled, “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.” There have been talks of the movie for years and finally we thought we had our movie!
Tension began to rise during the filming of the movie due to Aaliyah’s family being completely against it and refusing to give Lifetime and producers any information about the late singer. As the family spoke out against the film, singer Zendaya Coleman who was set to play the superstar, backed out of the film. It is also rumored that rapper Drake was supposed to do a song for the soundtrack but also backed out when he learned of the family’s disapproval.
Despite the disapproval from the Haughton’s and the lead dropping out of the movie, Lifetime and producers decided to continue with the making of the film.
Unfortunately, their continued effort to complete the film quickly backlashed moments after the movie aired. There were hundreds of negative comments from Twitter users and even Timbaland, Aaliyah’s friend and producer, spoke out about the film on his Instagram.
Lifetime continued to air reruns of the film and never released a statement as to why they continued with filming despite criticism or how they felt about the backlash. Wendy Williams, co-producer of the film did release a statement completely supporting and standing behind the decision to make the movie.
So, what if anything did we learn from Lifetime that we can apply to our own business endeavors?
1) Listen to Your Audience
Assuming Lifetime wanted Aaliyah’s family, friends and fans to watch the movie. The first thing they should have done is listen to their target audience. If the family did not like how the film was going, Lifetime should have let the family be a part of the creative process. Applying that to our businesses: if your audience is not moved by what you’re doing, find out what they want and then give them what they want!
2) Not All Money Is Good Money
I’m sure Lifetime and Wendy Williams got a nice check from the movie as well as the actors, but not all money is good money. In business and in life, we call this “making a deal with the devil.” Sure you will probably receive a payment that will last for now. However, it is important to think long term. What will happen when the money runs out? You can make more money, but people will never forget the things you do with it.
3) If You Believe In Your Product, Stand Behind It
I must say, I respect Wendy Williams for standing behind her product. As a first time entrepreneur and recent grad, I am not perfect. Sometimes we make mistakes and that is ok! The important thing is that we take ownership and either admit we made a mistake, or forget the haters and shout from the mountain tops how awesome we are!
Did I miss anything? What if anything did you learn from the movie? Comment below.
See Zendaya’s interview about why she dropped out of the film: