In the wake of a new girl being cast in the role of Aaliyah for Lifetime’s biopic of the late R&B legend, Zendaya Coleman took to Instagram to clear up all the rumors surrounding her departure from the project. Check it out!
Disney star Zendaya Coleman, 17, was cast back in June to play the role of Aaliyah in a biopic from Lifetime, based on the book Aaliyah: More Than A Woman. However, it was announced just a couple of short weeks later that she had decided to drop out. In the wake of Wendy Williams‘ announcement that Alexandra Shipp, 23, will be taking on the role of Aaliyah, Zendaya posted a lengthy message on her Instagram to clear up all the rumors. Read on to find out what she said!
Zendaya On Aaliyah Movie: Disney Star Makes A Statement After Alexandra Thripp Cast In Biopic
Wendy Williams tweeted the following on July 18:
— Wendy Williams (@WendyWilliams) July 18, 2014
“Let me just explain something. The reason why I chose not to do the Aaliyah movie had nothing to do with the haters or people telling me that I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t talented enough, or I wasn’t black enough. It had absolutely nothing to do with that.
“The main reason is that the production value wasn’t there, there were complications with the music rights, and I just felt like it wasn’t being handled delicately considering the situation.
And I tried my best to reach out to the family on my own, and I wrote a letter, but I was unable to do so; therefore, I felt not really morally OK with moving forward with the project.
“With all that being said, congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah; I only hope she does not have to deal with half the hate that I had to deal with. And remember that we are all human beings trying to do what we love to do. Let’s practice motivation and love; not discrimination and hate. All right?”
Zendaya finished her announcement with a smooch to the camera –“Mwah!”
Zendaya: ‘I Respect [Aaliyah] So Much As An Artist’
We can only hope that she’s right, that Alexandra will not receive as much hate as Zendaya did — not only were diehard Aaliyah fans upset by the casting, but so, too, were her family. They were very outspoken in declaring that only A-list actors and A-list talent could carry the movie; however, Alexandra is not exactly A-list talent herself.
Furthermore, let’s be honest: Lifetime is not where A-list movies live.
HollywoodLife.com spoke to Zendaya on the BET Awards red carpet on June 29, where she echoed the statements made in her series of Instagrams:
“Basically, I just felt that because I love her, and because I respect her so much as an artist, I don’t want to do anything that’s half or anything that’s less for her. I felt like some things with the production weren’t all the way there, the project wasn’t all the way there. If I’m going to do something for someone I care about so much, I have to do it the right way.”
It’s obvious that Zendaya cares so deeply for Aaliyah’s legacy that she would have actually been perfect for the role had red tape not held her back. We’re glad to hear that it wasn’t the haters that kept her down, however — she’s just 17! The people hating on her need to sit down.
Zendaya has such a level head on her shoulders that it’s hard to believe she’s only 17 years old! We’re sure that she’ll be able to shake this off and that her next project will be even bigger and better.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Should Zendaya have had the role of Aaliyah? Do you think Alexandra will do a good job? Let us know!
— Amanda Michelle Steiner