July 21, 2014


Zendaya Explains Why She Dropped Out of Aaliyah Biopic

Earl Gibson III/Getty Images
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

UPDATE (7/21): Turns out it wasn't cyber bullies that led to Zendaya dropping out of Lifetime's Aaliyah biopic. "The reason why I chose not to do the Aaliyah movie had nothing to do with the haters or people telling me I couldn't do it," she posted on Instagram. "The main reasons were [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. 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 part."

Despite controversy over the casting choice, the official Aaliyah Twitter account had urged supporters to be "respectful to the artist playing the role for they may not fully have or know the details about this role." The family has not given their blessing for the biopic, but Lifetime will continue on with Nickelodeon actress Alexandra Shipp playing the late R&B princess.

Original Story: Let's hope this isn't because of the cyber bullies! Disney Channel star Zendaya has been taking a lot of heat for her role as Aaliyah in an upcoming Lifetime film on the late singer, Aaliyah: More Than a Woman.

A representative told E! News this weekend, "Zendaya is no longer involved in the project."

Aaliyah's family publicly criticized Zendaya for accepting the role, so perhaps she's just honoring their wishes? 

The production is currently on hold.