Fox News in the US has been forced to apologise after a social media tribute to music legend Aretha Franklin, who passed away last week, contained an image of another singer.
The social media tweet announced the death of the 76-year-old and included the correct image of Franklin (in pink dress below) but also included an inset image (in green) that was actually of fellow soul singer Patti LaBelle.
What made the gaffe even worse is that apparently Franklin and LaBelle loathed each other and had a long-standing feud.
The image of LaBelle was taken from a 2014 performance at the White House’s ‘Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House’ event where she performed Somewhere Over the Rainbow for Barack Obama and a raft of guests.
Social media users were quick to point out Fox’s error labelling it “goddam disrespectful” and “yeah, that’s Fox”.
In an apology to the news site The Wrap, Jessica Santostefano the vice president, media desk at Fox News said: “We sincerely apologise to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends. Our intention was to honour 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.”
For her part, LaBelle also issued a touching statement following the news of Franklin’s death that read: “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. Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many. My sympathy, love and prayers go out to her family, loved ones and fans around the globe.”