Jim Carrey's Artistic Tribute to Aretha Franklin Raises a Question: 'Why Is She White?'

Jim Carrey's latest work of art is a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin. It might have been a well-meaning expression of his sympathy for the Queen of Soul's family, but some fans were appalled by it.

"Look how beautiful a life can be. Thank you, Aretha," Carrey wrote, alongside a painting of Franklin singing.

It looks like Carrey tried to show Franklin under a spotlight, but the effect made it look like Franklin was white. This confused more than a handful of his fans, who wondered, "Why is she white?"

"She’s moving towards the light from what I can gather, glow on [her] face makes her look white," one fan explained. Others just suggested Carrey was using artistic license.

"Is this not Kathy Bates?" one person joked, referring to the actress.

"This is Amber Rose and Paula Dean," another wrote.

"I love you Jim, but do you have a brown marker? Please?" another wrote.

Still another fan decided to fix the portrait, adding brown to Franklin's skin.

Others thanked Carrey for his tribute. "Thank you Jim for a beautiful tribute. The beautiful voice of the "Queen of Soul" has been silenced," one wrote.

The Franklin portrait was a rare non-political piece of art for the comedian, whose previous works have criticized President Donald Trump, his administration and other Republican politicians.

Franklin died on Thursday morning at age 76 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. After news broke of the "Respect" singer's death, thousands of celebrities and fans went to social media to pay tribute to her incredible career.

"The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists," Elton John tweeted.

"I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance – a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at St John The Divine Cathedral," John continued. "She was obviously unwell, and I wasn’t sure she could perform. But Aretha did and she raised the roof. She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept. We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time."

"Her voice; her presence; her style. No one did it better. Truly the Queen of Soul. I will miss you," Lionel Richie said in a statement.

"Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul," Paul McCartney wrote.

"Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace," former President Barack Obama tweeted.


Before Franklin's death, she reportedly approved a tribute concert at Madison Square Garden, set for Nov. 14.

Photo credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images