January 25, 2007
Andi Sporkin, NPR

In NPR Morning Edition Interview,
Smokey Robinson Finds “Dreamgirls”
“Very, Very, Very Offensive”
And Believes the Film’s Stars Demean Their Own History

January 25, 2007; Washington, D.C. – In an interview that aired on today’s Morning Edition, singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson called the fictional characters in the film “Dreamgirls” “very, very, very offensive to me.”

Robinson was part of a feature by NPR’s Elizabeth Blair capturing the feelings of original members of the Motown creative community about the Oscar-nominated film and its fictional depiction of them.

“I am really kind of upset about it (“Dreamgirls”) because there’s a lot of false information in there, and millions of people are seeing it every day,” Robinson said. Specifically addressing the fictional character supposedly inspired by Motown founder Berry Gordy, he noted, “Nobody was paying us. So he (Gordy) borrowed $800 from his family’s fund and started Motown so that we could be paid. And for him to be maligned and made out like this villainous character is very, very, very offensive to me.”

Robinson believes that the film’s stars have tarnished their own history, Blair reported. “Motown is Beyonce’s heritage. Motown is Jamie Foxx’s heritage. Motown is Eddie Murphy’s heritage. You know what I mean? They’re black people. They’re young black people. America should be proud of Motown because Motown made a statement all over the world that America could be proud of.”

Morning Edition is the top-rated morning radio program in the country, with 13 million listeners weekly.

The audio is available for free streaming. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7015150