The family of the late Aretha Franklin came out Monday against the eulogy given by a pastor at the music icon’s funeral last week.
The remarks delivered in Detroit by Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. on Friday were met with wide criticism on social media and now by the family of the “Queen of Soul,” with nephew Vaughn Franklin telling The Associated Press that they considered it to be offensive and distasteful.
Williams, the pastor of Salem Bible Church in Atlanta, initially said he felt his sermon was appropriate and that his timing was right, especially after other speakers spoke on the civil rights movement and President Donald Trump.
He said his remarks about black women being incapable of raising sons alone were taken out of context. In the eulogy Williams described the idea of children being raised without a “provider” father and a mother as the “nurturer” as “abortion after birth.”
Franklin was a single mother to four children and many interpreted his remarks as a dig toward the singer.
“Here’s the root of what I’ve been talking about: In order to change America, we must change black America’s culture,” he said. “We must do it through parenting. In order for the parenting to go forth, it has to be done in the home. The home.”
But on Monday Vaughn Franklin said the family expected a proper eulogy that concentrated on his aunt’s life.
Williams’ spokesman said in a statement Monday evening that Williams respects the family’s opinion and that he’s sorry they feel that way.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.