Zendaya Coleman Drops Out of Aaliyah Role


Disney actress Zendaya Coleman has officially bowed out of the Lifetime channel’s upcoming biopic on late R&B singer Aaliyah.

The network issued a statement over the weekend saying “We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah, and production is currently on hold.”

Zendaya’s casting was revealed on June 16th and immediately caused a backlash among some fans who thought the actress’ look was too ambiguous.

Coleman, who is biracial (half black/half white), took issue with the many complaints and petitions that were lodged against her online, saying she self-identifies as black and that color should have no bearing on who plays the singer.

Zendaya’s rep didn’t blame the casting backlash for the young star’s decision to step down from the role. However, anyone with common sense knows better.

Entertainment Weekly said production problems and Lifetime’s inability to acquire the rights to Aaliyah’s musical catalog were more than likely the reason why Zendaya chose to walk away from the role.

Whatever the case, the film is now back to square one and the hunt for a more suitable Aaliyah will again commence.


  1. She wasn’t right for the role. Glad she bounced. Find someone else with more than a pretty face. This was nothing but a vehicle to boost Zendaya’s career off of the back of a dead black woman. No sista would claim it doesn’t matter who plays the role of a dead black icon. When a Latina plays Marilyn Monroe I’ll believe that.

  2. I personally didn’t give a damn cause I wasn’t gonna support the movie anyway. Having said that, I remember when Mexicans boycotted Selena because they didn’t want a Puerto Rican playing her. Anyone else remember that? This sort of thing happens all the time when Hollywood decides to tell the stories of colored people. You can almost always bet they will whiten them up.

  3. I think Zendaya is a nice young girl and I wish her success in the future, but I am sick of Hollywood thinking they can water down our ICONS by casting these half or quarter black people to play full black icons, and think we won’t notice. I am glad this project is on hold. Anyone who thinks this ish doesn’t matter, will soon see us literally faded out of the mainstream media. Our reflections will be from our mirrors.

  4. I agree this new young lady should not be portraying an icon such as Aaliyah ! Aaliyah touched the hearts of many of her fans. The right actress should be playing her it’s going to be hard to find that right person.

  5. Black women are the leaders of our race. We are the most educated and hold down our families in many black household all over the world. I am glad we are standing up for ourselves and not letting Hollywood take away the essence and virtue that makes us unique. I am sorry but Zandaya can kick rocks with an open toe shoe. She knows better and so do we.

    Lifetime is going about this movie very disrespectfully. I was no here for it anyway.

  6. I’m glad she dropped out…not because she is biracial but because it wouldn’t be convincing. I saw no potential of her looking like Aaliyah. I think they should take their time and find the right one, I’m sure there is talent out there. After all, the creator of the movie Ray said he waited almost 10 years…and then they found Jamie and we all know how THAT worked out 😉

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