Idol Producers Dispute Events in Fantasia TV Biopic
Although the TV movie about American Idol Season Three winner Fantasia Barrino has not been released to the public yet, the FOX talent show's producers are reportedly up in arms over their depiction in the biopic.
The movie, entitled Fantasia: Life is Not a Fairy Tale, will air August 19 on Lifetime.
"Certainly, under no circumstances was she ever approached to be talked out of taking part in (the show)," Idol executive producer Ken Warwick tells the New York Post, in response to the TV movie's claim that Barrino was urged to withdraw from the competition because, as an unwed mother and high-school dropout, she was not a suitable role model.
"We knew she had a baby right from day one, and she was always strongly tipped to win the competition because she was so good," Warwick added. "I can absolutely refute that nothing was done, or even remotely suggested to her that she shouldn't take part in the competition. It's a complete fabrication."
According to the Post, the movie opens with a 19-year old Barrino coming off the Idol stage and being asked to speak with producers, who confront her with Internet postings about her suitability to compete.
"It's absolutely and totally untrue. I'm the executive producer, Nigel (Lythgoe) is the other executive producer and nobody -- to my knowledge --would have said anything like that to her," Warwick said.
There has been no comment from Barrino on Warwick's claims. Earlier this month, the singer told the Television Critics Association at its summer meeting that the movie, in which she plays herself, was difficult for her because, among other reasons, she had to relive the rape the resulted in her having an unplanned child.
Still, she said, she believes her story can inspire others.
"At the end, I began to cry and I said, 'I went through all those things, but I know why I share my life.' I'm thankful that I was able to do it," Fantasia said. "It's an amazing experiment."