The studios that released “Dreamgirls” have apologized to Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. for any confusion the film generated about the label’s early days.
DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures offered their apologies to Gordy, whose Motown Records and experiences are widely thought to be the basis of the film, in ads published earlier this week in Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
Gordy responded with a statement, praising them for making sure to separate fact from fiction.
“For the past 50 years, I have been protecting the integrity, the love and the talent that is and has become Motown’s legacy,” said Gordy, 77, who sculpted the careers of acts such as the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
“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.”
“Dreamgirls” has eight Oscar nominations, including for supporting performers Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy. The ceremony is set for Sunday.
In the film, Jamie Foxx portrays an ambitious and shady businessman who orchestrates the rise of a Supremes-like group, only to rise himself as the powerful head of a Motown-like label.
Those parallels bothered Robinson, who said recently that producers owed Gordy an apology. The film, which has amassed more than $100 million at the box office, was adapted from the Tony-winning musical, which debuted on Broadway in 1981.
“‘Dreamgirls’ is a work of fiction,” said Dreamworks and Paramount in full-page ads, which did not address the negative depiction of Gordy by Foxx. “It is also an homage to Motown. ... For any confusion that has resulted from our fictional work, we apologize to Mr. Gordy and all of the incredible people who were part of that great legacy. It is vital that the public understand that the real Motown story has yet to be told.”