After news spread yesterday that former Disney star and Dancing With The Stars runner-up (in season 16) Zendaya Coleman would be cast to play Aaliyah in a new Lifetime biopic (we’re still trying to figure out what the deal is with the alleged VH1 biopic on the singer), fans already agitated about the idea of the singer’s story being made into a movie had a field day on Twitter last night (and this morning) about how wrong the casting and the movie is. But it seems that some are taking their anger to the next level, and have launched a petition to get the movie stopped. I doubt that will work, but hey, if they think it’s worth a try… The petition reads like this:
This petition is to stop the making of this Aaliyah biopic. It’s wrong that Aaliyah’s mother or brother didn’t have a say so in this movie that is being made. The fans didn’t get a say so and neither did any of Aaliyah’s friends. As her fans, we’re going to do anything in our power to stop this movie. Little do we know, this is hurting Mrs. Haughton and Rashad. They’re about to make something that didn’t even get approved from her family. That is beyond disrespectful. If you agree that this movie shouldn’t be made, you need to vote. If you really respect Aaliyah, you have to respect her mother and her brothers wishes. It’s only right. It was Aaliyah’s life. And they’re taking it too far now. We need to put a stop to this!
While Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, said an Aaliyah biopic was in the works and seemed to be involved with it, it’s unclear if he was referring to the rumored VH1 movie or this new Lifetime movie. Otherwise, there has been no word from the Haughton family as of yet, but they’ve been very vocal about not wanting Aaliyah’s music used or story told without their permission. Those who have signed the petition didn’t hold back their feelings, saying that for the most part, they’re upset that Lifetime would try and go forward with a film that is against the wishes of Aaliyah’s family. Others say that they just don’t want to see any ol’ body playing the singer:
“I hate the fact that these people can’t even respect a dead person’s integrity. It seriously blows my mind that they are making this movie against her family’s will. No one should watch this because it is just a bunch of lies”
“We all love aaliyah and want her story to be heard but the right way, family and friends have to be involved it’s only right outta respect!!!! I will not be watching this movie!! No one should!!”
“The real Aaliyah fans would know that she didn’t want this, and having ZENDAYA to star as her and her uncle doing whatever he wants to with her estate is wrong.”
“I’m not just some groupie fan of Aaliyah, she was someone that I really admired & loved & she’s someone I look up to. At first I was happy about the movie, but after I heard they were making it without the family’s consent, I just was so hurt. I love her like family, so whatever the family says goes. I’m behind them 100%. Rest In Peace Baby Girl we love you ALWAYS”
But the casting director, Twinkie Byrd, told TheYBF that people need to stop trying to diminish Coleman’s moment and the casting decision:
Zendaya embodies everything you want in a Actress to play Aaliyah. She is a Poised, Professional, STRONG Actress (studied at California Shakespeare Theater and American Conservatory Theater). A Triple Threat Actor, Singer Dancer. She LOVES AALIYAH and will do a Wonderful Job! She is of mixed ethnicity. Her name is Bantu (Zimbabwe) meaning “To Give Thanks”.Let’s not Hate on it but Congratulate! She is a GREAT CHOICE!
“She’s been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent still shines brighter then ever, all I wanna do is honor her”“Show how much she accomplished in only 22 years….she’s beautiful inside and there will never be another Aaliyah, I just hope to share her”“I’m just a 17 year old girl who got cast to play one of her biggest inspirations #positive“
But what do you think? Are you for this movie or not feeling it?