Fox News Issues Apology for Using Patti LaBelle's Photo in a Tribute to Aretha Franklin
Fox News apologized for using Patti LaBelle's photo in Aretha Franklin tribute following her death on Thursday.
“We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends,” Fox News Vice President, Media Desk Jessica Santostefano said in a statement given to PEOPLE.
Hours after Franklin’s passing was confirmed, Fox News shared a news package highlighting Franklin’s most notable interviews and performances.
However, fans quickly noticed that on the slide with dates of Franklin’s life, 1948-2018, there was an image of LaBelle, 74.
“The dis-R-E-S-P-E-C-T. That’s really Patti LaBelle in the corner wtf,” one fan wrote.
“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,” Santostefano continued.
The image Fox used was from a show LaBelle did at the White House in 2014 when President Barack Obama was still in office. Franklin was not, however, anywhere to be seen in the image.
While the late singer was in attendance that night, it is unclear if she performed with LaBelle.
LaBelle opened up about Franklin’s death on Twitter Thursday.
“I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin,” LaBelle wrote.
“Today the world has experienced a tremendous loss.”
“Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many. My sympathy, love and prayers go out to her family, loved ones and fans around the globe,” LaBelle added.
Franklin died Thursday morning at the age of 76 after battling pancreatic cancer.