As most people know by now, music legend Aretha Franklin died Thursday at the age of 76, and the world feels emptier for the loss. Franklin was not just a musical icon, but a historical one.
So great was the loss, in fact, that even Fox News wanted to pay a fitting tribute to our lost goddess. But there was one small hiccup. Fox commemorated Aretha Franklin this morning with an image of the Queen of Soul smiling, and in the background, a smaller image of… Patti LaBelle singing. Did someone at Fox think LaBelle was Franklin?
Fox News Mistakes Patti LaBelle for Aretha Franklin https://t.co/wiejspkRkr
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 16, 2018
Oh, Fox News. Bless your hearts.
Fox News immediately issued an apology and explanation:
But the internet was not convinced. One might assume their skepticism was because Fox frequently makes these sorts of errors, but that’s not it! People didn’t buy the explanation because it simply wasn’t true.
As savvy Twitter users pointed out, Aretha and Patti famously got into a spat about sharing the stage during “In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul” in the East Room of the White House back in 2014, and emphatically chose not to share that stage:
Fortunately there’s an entire Twitter account dedicated to documenting such Fox flubs, and they were immediately on the case with an alternate theory:
Folks on Twitter were unimpressed with Fox’s attempt at an apology:
Consider how the blunder played into a well-worn stereotype about African-Americans:
Luckily, on such a dark day, many people seized the opportunity to lighten the mood at Fox’s expense:
And some reminded us precisely how unbothered Aretha would have been about all this:
True Queens just don’t have the time. ♀️
Rest in peace, Aretha, and thank you for sharing your life with us!