Has he never heard of the play? It ran 25 years ago!!

Smokey puts film under fire
UNLIKE so many cineplex offerings these days, the big-screen adaptation of “Dreamgirls” does not open with the tagline “inspired by a true story” ó even if the movie and the smash Broadway musical that preceded it have done little to conceal their real-life inspiration: Motown Records supremo Berry Gordy and his management of Diana Ross and the Supremes in the ’60s and ’70s.
As the film has made its inexorable march through award season toward the Oscars, doing increasingly big business at the box office along the way, neither Gordy nor Ross have offered their opinions. But “Dreamgirls,” which leads the field with eight Academy Award nominations, has roiled another Motown legend: Smokey Robinson.
” ‘Dreamgirls’ is an affront to Berry, to Motown, to Diana Ross, to our legacy,” Robinson says. “It defames something we’ve been building for 50 years. And for a group of people who weren’t there and don’t know what went on at the time to come along and distort Motown ó for people all over the world who don’t know the true story ó that’s not acceptable to me.”
The soul crooner voices anger at the filmmakers but also particular disappointment with “Dreamgirls” stars Eddie Murphy, BeyoncÈ Knowles and Jamie Foxx ó performers he feels have lost sight of their African American cultural heritage.
“For them to depict [Gordy] as this shyster who was underhanded from the very first moment, paying people off, manipulating everybody and he’s hooked up with the Mafia and doctoring the books at his house ó that’s unacceptable,” Robinson explains in uncharacteristically heated tones.
Specifically addressing Robinson’s displeasure with “Dreamgirls,” the film’s distributor, DreamWorks/Paramount, issued this statement:
“On behalf of the filmmakers, we would like to remind Mr. Robinson that ‘Dreamgirls’ is a work of fiction based on a Broadway play. We also take exception to Mr. Robinson’s unwarranted attack on the cast of ‘Dreamgirls,’ who are all at the zenith of their careers.”
The studio’s piquant rejoinder notwithstanding, Robinson remains resolute that amends are in order. “Let them tell me why they depicted us in such a negative light,” he says. “Berry Gordy broke down racial barriers and brought people together through music. He and Diana Ross deserve an apology.”