Zendaya Coleman was originally cast as Aaliyah in the Lifetime Biopic based on the book Aaliyah: More Than A Woman. In order to dispel any rumors, Zendaya went on Instagram to explain why Alexandra Shipp will take on the role instead. In a series of 3 videos, she says:
"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 reasons were 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 okay 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?"
The Disney star finished her announcement after congratulating her replacement with a kiss to the camera –"Muah!"
The Lifetime biopic will be executive produced by Wendy Williams. Williams tweeted yesterday that production will start later this month.