Fox News Channel apologized for using a photo of singer Patti LaBelle in an Aretha Franklin tribute today, saying it meant to show an image of the two singers together but Franklin was “obscured” onscreen.
“We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends,” said Jessica Santostefano, Vice President, Media Desk, Fox News, in a statement. “Our intention was to honor 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.”
The blunder was caught by viewers – and a screen grab shared online – robbing the tribute of any intended emotional power.
The LaBelle photo was taken from a 2014 PBS special Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House, as LaBelle performed – without Franklin – “Over the Rainbow.”
“Umm, is that Patti LaBelle in the corner,” tweeted one observer.
LaBelle, who had a famously rocky relationship with Franklin, had paid her own respect to the Queen of Soul earlier.