Zendaya is speaking out and responding to the criticism and the backlash she has received from “haters” in the aftermath of withdrawing from Lifetime Channel’s Aaliyah biopic. She posted several videos on Instagram explaining her decision while offering her well wishes to Alexandra Shipp who will take on the title role.


Photos: Zendaya
Credit: PR Photos

The 17-year-old Zendaya rose to fame as a Disney star and has since branched out and become an emerging pop music star. However, no matter how famous one is for how long, it could be argued nothing truly prepares you for backlash when you are cast in an iconic role and people are quick to show displeasure.

In the Lifetime channel biopic, she was to have portrayed the late legendary R&B music icon Aaliyah whose legacy grows in the years since her tragic death in a plane crash at age 22 in 2001.

There was no pleasing people, it seemed. Certainly not when Zendaya was cast in the role and certainly not in the aftermath of exiting. As much of the backlash came from social media, Zendaya took to Instagram and responded in a series of videos which you can say below.

She said of her decision, “The reason I chose not to do the Aaliyah movie had nothing to do with the haters or people telling me I couldn’t do it…I wasn’t talented enough or black enough. It had absolutely nothing to do with that.”

She went on to say, “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.”

Given all of the circumstances she said “Therefore, I felt not really morally okay moving forward with the project.”

Later, in another of the Instagram videos, she offered kind words for her successor in the role, saying, “With all that being said, congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah. I only hope that she doesn’t have to deal with half the hate I’ve had to deal with.”

All the while as the production moves forward, there is still the ongoing real life drama; in particular, the family of Aaliyah has expressed public disapproval.

You can see Zendaya’s videos below.