Yaya DaCosta as Whitney and Arlen Escarpeta as Bobby / Photo by Jack Zeman / Copyright 2014Yaya DaCosta as Whitney / Photo by Jack Zeman / Copyright 2014

Lifetime’s “Whitney Houston” has been divisive from the start, but a star of the project is speaking up about the backlash.

Speaking to “The Hollywood Reporter,” Arlen Escarpeta, who won the role of Bobby Brown, warns that Whitney fans shouldn’t judge the project until they’ve seen the final product, but he empathizes with the late singer’s family.

“That’s close to home. That’s family,” he told “THR.” “You have to respect family when it comes to matters of the heart… If and when they do see the film, they’ll see it came from a bit of love.”

Escapeta, who is best known for his work on NBC’s “American Dreams,” teased that “America’s Next Top Model” alum Yaya DaCosta did “a phenomenal job” in the film as the titular star.

After Whitney’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, voiced her objections about not being considered for the role, she later made an apology for her comments.

Her grandmother, Cissy Houston, was less diplomatic, telling “Entertainment Tonight”:

“We are exhausted by the continuing misinformation and comments offered by people who did not know her. Please let her rest.”

No release date for “Whitney Houston” has been set. Will you watch it?

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