Jennifer Holliday Still Feeling Dreamgirls Snub

Dreamgirls had its Hollywood premiere Monday night at the Wilshire Theater. Check out a few glam shots from the red carpet here, including an appearance from McSteamy himself, Eric Dane.

Dreamgirls_3Notably absent was the original ‘Effie’ Jennifer Holliday, who tells the L.A. Times what she told Wendy Williams last week— that she’s still feeling “swept aside” by Paramount and Dreamworks. She claims the studios “disinvited” her to the premiere and have not approached her to do any publicity:

“Why is it necessary for them to wipe out my existence in order for them to have their success? It’s scary that they can be so cruel. I know it’s business, but why do they have to go to this extreme? I’m a human being. I need to work too. Why do I have to die to make them a winner?”

According to the article, the studio has taken a “no comment” policy on Holliday.

Sheryl Lee Ralph apparently also feels “shut out of the Dreamgirls blitz” according to the LAT, although she did make an appearance at the Hollywood premiere.

Loretta Devine, another member of the original Dreamgirls makes a cameo in the new film, and at the screening I saw, received an ovation from the audience. So far, no protests from her camp.

Out of the picture [la times]


  1. gabe says

    There must be a good reason why Dreamworks didn’t extend an invitation to Jennifer to attend the premiere when they know very well that she isn’t going to roll over and keep mum about this.

  2. Stew says

    Why does she have this sense of entitlement, the film does not feature her, and movies get remade all the time without the original cast being acknowledged. The LA Times speaks about her reputation as ”
    reportedly difficult, deeply unhappy and troubled”. She should take responsibility for her career path since her debut and move on.

  3. burnssuit says

    I’m moreso confused that this movie is getting covered so much on here. I guess if it’s a musical it would sort-of appeal to a gay audience, but so would lots of other things that aren’t even mentioned here. Is there something I’m missing?

  4. says

    I worked in the Boston press at the time of the world premiere of “Dream Girls” (the play). Since the show ‘tried out’ in Boston, I saw Jennifer Holliday sing that amazing showstopping ballad for the first time in public. I can still recall all these years later how powerful her performance was. I feel for Holliday and understand her hurt. But I suppose the part was written for a younger woman, and now she may not look the part.

  5. rudy says

    I do not “feel for” Jennifer Holliday at all. She has tremendous talent but an even bigger ego (or deep insecurities masked by an outsized ego). Her increasingly bizarre demands made Dreamgirls a nightmare for her fellow actors (many of whom I knew and worked with) and the producers. Her erratic performances and appearances marred the play for many (including two on-stage tantrums that I witnessed). I was hoping for the sake of her undeniable talent that she had matured into a responsible adult and performer but it is all too apparent that she has not. Her performances became ledgendary as an embarrasing characature of sweat drenched popped eyes and vocal grunts and bellows. It was sad to experience because she had (has?) so much potential. The new Jennifer sounds wonderful in the role and appropriately humble. One has to earn diva status through hard work not demand it through petulant behaviour.

  6. FECES says

    Ugh here we go again…

    1. Jennifer Holliday is her own worst enemy. She revels in whining & bitching & playing the victim. She is notoriously difficult & is being systematically left out of any official promotional opportunities related to the release of the film “Dreamgirls” because she is a loose cannon that no sane producers or PR people would want flapping their gums on a red carpet.

    Yes, she did play an integral role in the shaping & development of the Effie character — but that does not entitle the spotlight to be shown on her while this very talented director & new film cast should be celebrating their own success.

    Jennifer Holliday is an ape. It’s a simple as that.

    #2 – what’s with all this bitching about what Andy covers? He is NOT a traditional journalist — he is a blogger. This is HIS blog & he can cover whatever stories he wants. Clearly he’s a big Dreamgirls fan, what’s wrong with that?

  7. Chris says

    Dreamworks and Paramount simply do not want Jennifer Hudson’s performance to constantly be compared to the original performance of Holliday on Broadway. It came out in the press today that – New York Post columnist Liz Smith says, “Word came down to omit any photo of her (Holliday) from publicity for the movie version.”

  8. David says

    Both Jennifer’s are extremely talented and one can not subtract from or diminish the other…

    What I would love to see is both of them get on stage and sing. Call it the Battle of the Diva’s, Jennifer vs Jennifer or Oscar vs Tony.

    To paraphrase a TV advertising campaign, that would be “Must See TV”.

  9. Marco says

    Another Jennifer Holiday bruised ego story will = the thread with the most posts, once again. Damn be issues that matter – but what the hell, it’s a blog, not the UN General Assembly.

    IMO, Jennifer – get over yourself and do it NOW for the sake of Towleroad readers.

  10. yeahisaidit says

    …i bet that somehow it all comes down to money, behind all issues almost everything does…and although jennifer holliday is certainly no angel, as has been accurately described here by other posters…the girl is likely one in a long line of those renowned and used for her “talent” but probably has not got a thin dime to show for it while non performers behind the scenes have made substantial fortunes, and though very common in the industry, this could probably account for some amount of her unfortunate loads of prickly bitterness and frustation…without the proper business acumen or representation the girl is going to have to forever sing for her supper and, as we all do, she is getting old…

  11. Greg says

    Did Julie Andrews go around whining that she didn’t get to play Eliza Doolittle in the filmed version of “My Fair Lady”?

    It was a business decision. The following is a quote from the producer’s autobiography: “Why did I choose Audrey Hepburn instead of Julie Andrews, the original Eliza (for ‘My Fair Lady’)? There was nothing mysterious or complicated about that decision. With all her charm and ability, Julie Andrews was just a Broadway name known primarily to those who saw the play. But in Clinton, Iowa and Anchorage, Alaska, and thousands of other cities and towns in our 50 states and abroad you can say Audrey Hepburn, and people instantly know you’re talking about a beautiful and talented star. In my business I have to know who brings people and their money to a movie theatre box office. I knew Audrey Hepburn had never made a financial flop…”

    What did Julie Andrews do? That’s right, she went and won the freaking Oscar for Mary Poppins. And then made The Sound of Music the following year. She did alright for herself.

    Instead of dwelling on the past, maybe Jennifer Holliday needs to think about trying to getting involved in something else.

  12. mark m says

    Maybe I’m just cynical but has anyone considered that the Studio WANTS Holliday to keep running her mouth?

    Free publicity. They’re laughing all the way to the bank.

  13. jacknasty says

    Forget Jennifer Holiday, what about the 3rd Dreamgirl in the film? All you here about is Beyonce and that American Idol chick…but aren’t there 3 of them?

  14. says

    It’s like when they brought A Streetcar Named Desire to the screen. They kept the main Broadway cast members save for Jessica Tandy because that Scarlett O’Hara chick was a bigger name. Nevermind the fact that she was a bit miscast.

    Yes, my mommy told me that tid bit of info. BUT I love the orig Streetcar!

  15. says

    I love the new soundtrack. Jennifer Hudson is awesome, and her voice is easily a match to Jennifer Holliday. I’m really looking forward to the movie. If anyone wants to talk about the movie Dreamgirls, click on my name. It’ll take you to the message boards. I’ll watch for you!

  16. Jonathan says

    Jennifer Holliday might be overdoing it in the media BUT something weird IS going on here. I watched a program on the TVGuide channel last night about the making of Dreamgirls: from Broadway to the Big Screen or something like that. And she wasn’t mentioned ONCE. They said Sheryl Lee Ralph was nominated for a Tony but failed to mention that Holliday had won that same award against her. They showed one picture of her for about 1 second but she was never mentioned by name. Her contribution to the show cannot be denied and when the articles talked about “history” being made in the reviews, they were talking about her, not the show. I don’t know why the gag order is on, but it is strange.

    As far as Hudson is concerned I’m sure she’s wonderful and her voice is a prettier instrument although not as powerful. But I’ll be very surprised if the pain she conveys as Effie is anywhere near the magnitude of what Holliday did on Broadway. I think therein lies the problem. Nobody at the studio wants Hudson to be compared to Holliday. I think it’s ridiculous. But that’s probably what’s going on.

  17. Richard says

    I have ALWAYS been a DREAMGIRLS fan. With all due respect, Miss Holliday (great as she was in her moment) caused the kind of DIVA grief that actually shortened the original run of DREAMGIRLS. It should never have closed, it was THAT good. I am thrilled that Miss Hudson is getting her recognition and that she learns from her peers and her predecessors and becomes a GRACIOUS star like Beyonce is. She’s had 25 years to make up for her bad behavior and it’s a bit late, Miss Holiday, to catch a boat you missed years ago because of your own EGO!

  18. says

    Originally, on Broadway, JH’s character Effie was only in Act One. JH walked off the show insisting they rewrite the show and extend her role into Act Two. Which they did. That’s how good she was. They didn’t want to risk replacing her because she was the only reason anyone was going to see it.

  19. octobersgift says

    The entertainment industry is a business and the saying goes “you’re only good as your last gig.” Praytell what is Miss Holiday’s last gig…? I feel very sorry that her career never came to the fulfillment that it could have, but 25 years later the film’s producers are supposed to throw her a bone? Bigger legends than she have been passed along as time itself passed. Like they say in the movie “It’s time to get a new sound.” She should use this publicity to launch her OWN project, staging a triumphant comeback. Short of playing Effie, what did she want to do in the film, sing at the funeral? Play Effie’s incredible singing Mama? A singing maid, stewardess, or waitress? Did she want to come to the press junkets to reminisce about her old glory days, when the average movie goer is 12-18 and has never EVEN heard of her? They are going to see Beyonce, Jennifer (I voted for her on American Idol) Hudson, and Jamie (Ray Charles, Unpredictable) Fox.

  20. Gayle says

    I attended the 8th Annual African American Family Conference in Austin, TX yesterday. I hadn’t ever rememberer hearing Jennifer Holliday, hadn’t read all this controversy. What I can tell you is that this woman was humble, magnanomous, caring and patient. Her voice, eye popping, sense of humor, mouth twitching, powerhouse performance was fabulous. She shared about her history of depression and working in the mental health field I can understand how someone with mental health issues can demonstrate difficult behaviors. All my praises for this wonderful woman who she is at this point in time. Not only all this, but I found her to be gorgeous as well. She has won me over and I am a new admirer.

  21. Renee says

    People are so mean and cruel. Stop throwing stones! You people don’t even know what you are accusing Jennifer Holliday of! The people who are being idiots are those of you who are throwing rocks at her! Yes it’s been 25 years! So shut the fuck up people! Jennifer Holliday is an awesome talent, one who was taken advantage of by many producers, agents, etc. She has overcome horrible obstacles in her career and personal life. She’s still the powerhouse talent she always was. The only thing that’s changed is there’s another Jennifer in the picture who for some reason gives you haters a reason to compare. Guess what? There’s no comparison. There’s only one Jennifer Holliday….and there’s only one Jennifer Hudson. Remember this people…..Jennifer Holliday CREATED the role of Effie in Dreamngirls. Jennifer Hudson re-enacted Holliday’s creation. Enough said.

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