Zendaya Coleman Explains Exit From Aaliyah Biopic: I Wasn’t “Morally Okay” Doing the Movie

Zendaya Coleman and Aaliyah
Zendaya Coleman spoke about her decision to back out of the Aaliyah movie. Michael Buckner/BET/Getty; Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

Zendaya Coleman is clearing up the rumors. The Disney star, 17, took to Instagram on Friday, July 18, to post videos of herself addressing talk surrounding her dramatic exit from the upcoming Aaliyah biopic. 

After being cast as the late R&B singer earlier this year, Coleman decided to back out of the part in June. There was immediate speculation that she quit the movie because of widespread criticism on her casting. 

Not so, Coleman says in a series of Instagram videos. 

"Let me just explain something," she begins in the first of three videos that she posted. "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, I wasn't talented enough, or I wasn't black enough. It had absolutely nothing to do with that."

"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," Coleman continued in the second clip. "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." 

While Coleman is not moving forward with Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp will be. She was cast in the Lifetime flick last week. 

"Congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah," Coleman added in her third and final video. "I only hope that she does not have to deal with half the hate that I had to deal with. 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."

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