Just weeks after Lifetime revealed that Zendaya Coleman, the former Disney Star has dropped out of the project.
Lifetime tweeted this message on Sunday.
“We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold.”
The choice to cast Zendaya, who was supposed to record four songs for the movie, came with much controversy. People had all types of things to say about her. She didn’t look like her, wasn’t attractive enough and most recently, not black enough. (Coleman is biracial.)
But perhaps the biggest hurdle in getting the tv movie made had little to do with Coleman at all. From the beginning Aaliyah’s family has been vehemently against the project. Though, they encouraged people to stop attacking Coleman, they felt Lifetime’s approach to the film was disrespectful to Aaliyah’s legacy. The family also noted that they wanted Aaliyah’s story to be shown on the big screen as opposed to on a network.
The family didn’t exactly say why but we’re assuming it had something to do with the fact that the biopic was going to deal with Aaliyah’s relationship and very brief marriage to singer and songwriter R Kelly.
The project, titled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, was based on the book Aaliyah: More Than A Woman by Christopher Farley. They were supposed to start shooting this summer and premiere it this fall.
This is a major setback and it’ll be interesting to see if this ever gets made. Why do you think Zendaya decided to fall back? Do you think the criticism got under her skin or do you think the family might have reached out to her and convinced her to reconsider?
Zendaya spoke briefly about her decision to drop out during an interview with Tony Rock on the BET red carpet. Take a listen to what she had to say below.