Justin Bieber faces backlash for MLK clips on new album
Bieber's latest project is described as tone-deaf
Justin Bieber is in the hot seat after releasing his sixth studio album, Justice.
The singer is getting slammed for including snippets of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice on his new album. While critics call the move tone-deaf, MLK’s family is in favor of the collaboration.
The artist dropped Justice on Thursday with an intro that features a snippet from one of King’s famous speeches. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” recites Dr. King on the first track titled “2 Much.”
Despite King’s voice being featured on the album, none of the 15 R&B/pop tracks listed express any issues regarding civil rights or racial inequality.
The album features a two-minute “MLK Interlude” leading into a song titled “Die For You,” which many say is disrespectful considering King was assassinated.
But despite the push back from fans, MLK’s estate approved the samples and support the project. King’s daughter, Bernice King took to Twitter to say:
“Each of us, including artists and entertainers, can do something. Thank you, @justinbieber , for your support, in honor of #Justice, of @TheKingCenter’s work and of our #BeLove campaign, which is a part of our global movement for justice. #MLK #EndRacism.”
Meanwhile, Columbus Short is set to play King in a new film as reported by theGrio.
The former Scandal actor is playing Martin Luther King, Jr., in the upcoming biopic Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story. Short is calling it the role of his career.
“I have dreamed of playing this role for many years. It’s truly a great honor to portray a man that has made such an indelible impact on society and to all of ours lives. I am thankful to Ericka for the opportunity and proud to play alongside a wonderful cast,” Short told Deadline.
The film tells the story of gospel singer Jackson who is credited with prompting King to deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. A native of New Orleans, she became known as ‘The Queen of Gospel’ and was a pillar in the civil rights movement. The film is named after Jackson’s iconic song “Remember Me.”
In 2017, he did play the lead in the film version of the urban lit bestseller True to the Game and released an autobiography, called Short Stories: The Autobiography of Columbus Short in 2020.
In Remember Me Short will appear alongside singer Ledisi who will play Jackson.
The film was directed by Denise Dowse and written by Ericka Nicole Malone. Janet Hubert of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Wendy Raquel of The Game will also appear in the film. It is unclear when it will debut.
“I am honored to be given a chance to paint the world through Mahalia’s eyes and sing her songs,” Ledisi said. “Watching Columbus Short transform into Dr. Martin Luther King has been inspiring. I am sharing space with so many amazing actors and with Ericka Nicole Malone’s words, and being under the direction of the great Denise Dowse. I am thrilled to be telling the story of New Orleans gospel legend Mahalia Jackson.”
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