After 17-year-old actress Zendaya dropped out of the Lifetime Aaliyah biopic, it was believed that the negative response from fans over her initial casting was to blame. But, the actress says that just isn’t the case. On Friday she posted an official video response explaining her exit from the project and addressing the haters. She said:
“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,’ or ‘wasn’t talented enough’ or I wasn’t ‘Black enough.’ It had absolutely nothing to do with that. 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. 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 okay with moving forward with the project. With all that being said, congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah, I only hope that 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. Alright? Muah!”
Watch Zendaya deliver this honest and heartfelt message here and tell us your thoughts below.