Zendaya Drops Out of Aaliyah Biopic: "She Wants to Do It Right"

Entertainment Jun. 29, 2014 AT 5:35PM
Zendaya Zendaya will no longer be playing the late singer Aaliyah. Credit: David Livingston/Getty Images

Zendaya won't be playing Baby Girl—at least, not anytime soon. The Disney star, 17, has dropped out of the Lifetime Aaliyah biopic, her rep confirmed to Us Weekly. The child star also confirmed the news on Twitter on Sunday, June 29. 

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"Aaliyah has always been a source of inspiration to Zendaya," her official account tweeted. "She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her. If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right." 

Lifetime also tweeted about the decision, writing, "We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold." No other information behind the decision has yet been revealed.

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News of the Dancing With the Stars contestant's casting as the beloved late R&B star was announced earlier this month and immediately met with backlash. Some complained that her skin was too light to play the late "Try Again" singer, while others didn't think she was up to the challenging role. 

After the announcement, Zendaya took to Twitter to explain her decision to take on the role. 

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"She's been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent still shines brighter then ever, all I wanna do is honor her," she wrote on June 16. "Show how much she accomplished in only 22 years....she's beautiful inside and there will never be another Aaliyah, I just hope to share her beautiful story, and make her proud up in heaven #babygirl #forever #OneInAMillion."

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