Zendaya Coleman, tired of hearing theories about why she chose to walk away from Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic, attempted to clear the air once and for all on Instagram.

Zendaya Coleman On Leaving Aaliyah Biopic

Coleman, 17, had been cast as the late R&B singer only to leave the project weeks later. The Disney star’s casting had been met with criticism from many, who didn’t think she resembled Aaliyah closely enough and didn’t have the acting chops to pull off the part. Coleman, however, has stated that the hate she received did not factor into her decision.

"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,” Coleman explained in Instagram videos. “It had absolutely nothing to do with that.”

Coleman’s decision had more to do with production than anything else. Not only did she take issue with the production value, but with the fact that Aaliyah’s family wasn’t keen about Lifetime’s planned biopic of the musician. “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,” said Coleman. "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."

Despite her personal reservations about playing Aaliyah in Lifetime’s take on her short life, Coleman hopes nothing but the best for Alexandra Shipp, who has taken over the role she chose to vacate.

"Congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah,” said Coleman. “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? Mwah."


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