Aretha faces an uncomfortable industry obstacle in this exclusive clip from Episode 5, “Young, Gifted and Black.”
The scene in particular takes place at an industry party, where a young Aretha Franklin (played by Cynthia Erivo) experiences visible frustration over not only being overlooked for her contributions to the recent success of her album, but witnessing others such as music producer Jerry Wexler (David Cross) being congratulated for her ideas. When Aretha inquires about why she doesn’t have a producer credit herself and is subsequently dismissed, she decides to walk out in protest altogether.
Genius: Aretha is a special limited series that premiered Sunday, March 21 on National Geographic, with two episodes releasing consecutively each night for a total of eight episodes. In addition to Erivo and Cross, the cast includes Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory and Rebecca Naomi Jones. Parks serves as executive producer and showrunner, with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard also attached as executive producers. Previous seasons of Genius have focused on real-life legends such as Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, and a fourth season revolving around the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. is also currently in development.
Two new episodes of Genius: Aretha will premiere tonight on National Geographic at 9/8c and then be available to stream on Hulu the next day. Check out the exclusive clip from Episode 5 below.
Here is the official synopsis for Genius: Aretha:
‘Genius’ is National Geographic’s critically acclaimed anthology series that dramatizes the fascinating stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators and their extraordinary achievements with their volatile, passionate, and complex personal relationships. This third season will explore Aretha Franklin’s musical genius and incomparable career, as well as the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world. Franklin was a gospel prodigy, an outspoken civil rights champion, and widely considered the greatest singer of the past 50 years, receiving countless honors throughout her career. ‘Genius: Aretha’ will be the first-ever, definitive, and only authorized scripted series on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul.
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