The most watched cable movie of the year chronicles the careers of R&B supergroup, TLC and follows their rise to fame and fall to financial ruin.
Even with original members Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins and Rozanda ‘Chilli’ Thomas on board as executive producers, the film was not without discrepancies.
While it highlighted milestones and explained behind the scenes details of intriguing issues like T-Boz’s battle with Sickle Cell Anemia and Chilli’s troubled relationship with Dallas Austin, it skimmed over other pressing matters and at times the script rewrote history for inexplicable reasons.
Crystal Selene Jones had an axe to grind after the film’s debut. She was an original member of the trio and contends she wasn’t fired for bad vocals as the film depicts, but refused to sign the contract that ultimately led to the ladies’ $3.5 million bankruptcy filing despite having sold over 23 million records worldwide.
In the film, her character bombs the initial audition and is quickly replaced with Chilli. The founding member of the group told her side of the story in an interview with V103 in Atlanta on Tuesday. She and her former manager, Ian Burke, said she sang very well and was given a contract and wanted her mother to review it.
The movie blames the group’s money troubles on Perri “Pebbles” Reed, the ex-wife of infamous music man, L.A. Reid. She too took issue with the script and threatened legal action over social media when the movie hit the small screen.
“I’m NOT here to promote something I put on the MAP and yet have been disrespected because of more reasons than one!” she tweeted. “Lawyers on deck.”
She was fuming again after T-Boz and Chilli gave numerous interviews explaining their tumultuous relationship with Pebbles. “I am in shock listening to all this mess and lies on this radio interview!! This is madness!!!” she posted. “It’s SO hard to believe this! DO NOT believe…Not going to comment about this anymore on here UNofficially. Dealing with this though.”
Rapper, Lil’ Mama, drew praise across the board for her portrayal of the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in 2002, but The Lopes’ express their disappointment with the holes in her story and wishes they had been consulted.
“It would have been nice if Lisa’s family would have been invited to take part in this journey of making the TLC movie. Honestly, I think it would have added depth to Lisa’s on screen character,” her sister, Reina Lopes, said in a statement. “I think Lil Mama did a good job at portraying my sis. She did her homework and studied Lisa. As a fan, I know it was important for Lil Mama to represent Lisa correctly–and she did just that! Although the script didn’t allow her to bring Lisa’s true character to light. She did the best with what she had to work with. All the girls did a good job!”
Lisa’s pursuit of a solo career was another grey area in the film. The biopic asserts she was lured away by Master P when in fact her deal came from Hip Hop’s shady staple, Suge Knight.
TLC copped to the playing loose with the facts on Twitter, but offered no explanation for changing the true story. “Master P (reference in the movie) is really about Suge Knight FYI #CrazySexyCool,” they posted.
Despite the discrepancies, the film was ratings gold and brought fans back to the glory days of their favorite girl group. According to SocialGuide, it was the most-tweeted program on TV on October 21, generating 1.92 million tweets with the hashtag #CrazySexyCool.
It beat out Beyonce Knowles’ revealing documentary, Life Is But A Dream, which nevertheless broke records for HBO with 1.7 million viewers. (Read about Beyonce’s recent freefalling experience in New Zealand here.)
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