And DreamWorks and Paramount are telling you, Dreamgirls is not going there.
The studios behind the Oscar-nominated film did not react lightly to R&B star Smokey Robinson's recent comments that Jamie Foxx's portrayal of a manipulative, greedy girl-group manager in Dreamgirls was an "insulting" depiction of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr.
"The creators of the Dreamgirls movie have blatantly indicated that they are depicting Berry Gordy and Diana Ross and the Supremes and Motown and they have done it with a lot of false information and negativity," Robinson told Access Hollywood earlier this month, adding that he felt the studios owed the legendary record producer a public apology.
"Berry Gordy created something with his dream that allowed a lot of other dreams to come true and he did it with integrity, he did it honestly," Robinson said, pointedly referring to the film's Curtis Taylor Jr. character's ties to organized crime.
So, despite the fact that the Bill Condon-directed film, which won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy/Musical last month, is a big-screen adaptation of a 26-year-old Broadway musical, those responsible for the modern-day incarnation took it upon themselves to set the record straight about Dreamgirls' relation to Motown and one of its most famous offshoots, the Supremes.
Namely, that no one meant any disrespect.
"Dreamgirls is a work of fiction," read a statement issued by the studio Wednesday. "It is also an homage to Motown. We used many wonderful accomplishments that belong to the rich Motown history. For any confusion that has resulted from our fictional work, we apologize to Mr. Gordy and all of the incredible people who were a part of that great legacy.
"It is vital that the public understand that the real Motown story has yet to be told."
That statement should prove reassuring to those who watched the film and concluded that the ascent of the iconic soul/R&B label was based on one big web of backstabbing, broken dreams and big talents who were undeservedly pushed into to the background while the prettier faces took center stage.
Gordy certainly appreciated the sentiment, at least.
"For the past 50 years, I have been protecting the integrity, the love and the talent that is and has become Motown's legacy," the 77-year-old music mogul said in a statement. "I applaud DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures for doing their part, to clearly differentiate the fictional movie Dreamgirls from the real Motown. I wish them all the best in the forthcoming Academy Awards."
Surely, at this point, Dreamgirls is far more about Hollywood than it is about Motor City. The film carries a leading eight nominations heading into the 79th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday, including Best Supporting Actor nods for Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson and three opportunities to walk away with Best Original Song.
Hudson, considered the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress after picking up nearly every honor available for the category during this awards season, plays Effie White, the expendable member of the fictional Dreams who is forced to take a backup role to Beyoncé's more glamorous, yet less golden-piped, Deena Jones.
Legend would have it that Effie is based on Florence Ballard, the late founding member (and fellow lead singer) of the Supremes who was replaced in 1967 by Cindy Birdsong, reportedly at the behest of Gordy, who renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes.
But while Hudson's performance has catapulted her to name-brand status faster than Simon Cowell can crush an aspiring pop star's dreams, winning her an armful of trophies, magazine covers (including the March issue of Vogue) and more TV appearances than you can shake a stick at, Hudson had more than Ballard to channel when taking on the role of Effie.
Jennifer Holiday, who originated the part on Broadway and won a Tony for her efforts, will sing the show/film's signature song, "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going," live on Sunday during E!'s Countdown to the Red Carpet: The 2007 Academy Awards, starting at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT.
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