Just yesterday (July 18), we heard that the pending Lifetime film about the late R&B songstress Aaliyah had gotten a new actress named Alexandra Shipp after Disney actress Zendaya Coleman dropped out.
Zendaya cited “production issues” as the reason for abandoning ship, and some speculate it was because of pressure from some people, who claim she was too light-skinned to play Aaliyah, as well as fans on the Houghton family's side who say they weren’t notified of the production and are against the movie being made.
Well today, Z quells those rumors which said it was outsiders who influenced her decision to quit the movie: “The main reason was 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 moving forward with the project,” she explains.
She goes on to acknowledge Shipp in the new role: “With all that being said, congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah, I only hope she doesn’t have to deal with half the hate I had to deal with…lets practice motivation and love, not discrimination and hate.”
One by one, actresses (like Keshia Chante, Teyana Taylor, and Coleman) are dropping out of the role due to lack of support from those who knew the songstress best, her family. But Lifetime seems gung ho about getting this movie out there. Maybe they should just let it go?
Watch Z's clip below: