Fox News aired a photo of Patti LaBelle in their tribute of Aretha Franklin, who died on Thursday in Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer.
The network posted a video honoring Franklin’s life, but in one still, captured by users on Twitter, there is an image of Patti LaBelle.
Umm, is that Patti LaBelle in the corner? pic.twitter.com/PmUPpgc0zb
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 16, 2018
The network used an image taken from LaBelle’s 2014 performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for President Barack Obama.
In a statement, obtained by HuffPost, the network apologized for the error.
We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends,” spokeswoman Jessica Santostefano said 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.”
Social media users were less forgiving of the cable network.
In the span of seven hours, @FoxNews has lambasted "communist Japan" and confused Patti Labelle for Aretha Franklin, and we're all kinda just like, "Yeah, that's Fox."
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 16, 2018
D I S R E S P E C Thttps://t.co/celyDOCnYf
— Apple Chinbolt🍏😷 (@Apple_Chinbolt) August 16, 2018
WHY would Fox News be petty and use this pic of Aretha and add Patti LaBelle in the background?!! pic.twitter.com/vruO5Fm4vh
— VINCENT (@Vince_Aries) August 16, 2018
LaBelle took to Twitter to share her condolences over Franklin’s death.
“I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin. Today the world has experienced a tremendous loss,” she wrote. “Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many.”
Rest in peace Aretha. ❤ pic.twitter.com/QT7HeY5SIf
— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) August 16, 2018
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.