Aretha Franklin's Family React To Pastor's Controversial Eulogy: "It Caught The Entire Family Off Guard"

Date September 5, 2018

None of Aretha Franklin's acquaintances seem to know how to give eulogies or tributes. First, it was Madonna at the VMAs, and now, it's the Rev. Jasper Williams Jr., who spoke at the service in her honor.

Aretha Franklin Funeral, Gladys Knight speaksgettyimages

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Williams Jr. has been criticised for giving a speech many consider disrespectful to Aretha Franklin and her legacy.

In his controversial eulogy to the Queen of Soul, he spoke against abortion, criticised protests against the killing of black people by the police, and said explicitly that black women were incapable of raising black boys to be men.

Family reaction and widespread criticism

The singer's family have shared their views on the reverend's opinions and his decision to utter them at the time, reserved for honoring her memory.

Aretha Franklin's family says pastor's eulogy was offensivegettyimages

Franklin's nephew, Vaughn, said the reverend spent a good 50 minutes on his eulogy but did not properly eulogize her. He told AP that the eulogy "caught the entire family off guard." He added:

It has been very, very distasteful.

The reactions online are largely divided. Some commenters are in favor of the message, and others find the timing tactless.

Williams Jr., however, said he's sorry Franklin's family felt that way about his eulogy.

READ ALSO: Aretha Franklin Had A Dizzying 30-Year Romance With Longtime Love Willie Wilkerson