After announcing the upcoming UK premiere of Jimi : All is By My Side biopic of Jimi Hendrix, it has come to light that there are distasteful and highly problematic scenes in the film that misrepresent the rock legend. Particularly, it is the relationship between Hendrix and his long-term girlfriend at the time, Kathy Etchingham.
For whatever reason, writer and director John C. Ridley decided to paint Hendrix and Etchingham as having had a tumultuous relationship that featured violence and abuse. Etchingham has denied this portrayal and is speaking out against this. In an astute point, going beyond her own personal defamation, Etchingham raises her discomfort with the use of domestic violence as a point of entertainment. We too question Ridley’s use of it and would much rather see an exploration of the musical genius of Hendrix.
It seems that the 12 Years A Slave writer is forever mired in controversy! Though it is understood that the filmmakers exercised their First Amendment Rights, it still seems a bit defamatory to write abuse into someone’s life. We just hope to see a more honest portrayal of the great Jimi Hendrix.