It seems as though actress/singer Zendaya Coleman was not able to bask in her excitement about being cast as Aaliyah Haughton for too long because she backed out of the project just two weeks after being offered the role.
Haughton’s family never approved of the singer’s life being portrayed through a Lifetime movie to begin with, and that could have something to do with Coleman’s decision to give up the role.
Barry Hankerson, Haughton’s uncle and former manager, claimed that Lifetime never even contacted the family in regards to a movie about the singer’s life and that the family vowed to stop the production of the biopic by any means necessary.
Coleman had already been receiving backlash from people around the world who felt that she would not do Haughton’s character justice. One of the many issues that people had was that Coleman was not “black enough” for the character.
Fans also felt like there were other actresses that were more seasoned and suitable for Haughton’s character.
There were even members of Haughton’s family that felt like a movie about her life should be more than just a “TV movie” and that it should have “A-list actors, A-list talent”.
Hankerson has no problem with Coleman playing the role of Aaliyah, and Coleman showed no signs of being pressured by the family to back out of the role.
She gave MTV the details on why she chose not to be a part of the production:
“I feel [that] production wise everything just felt a little rushed. And I think because she’s someone I admire and I love so much, it can’t be done halfway, or not to the standards I think it should be done at, so I just decided not to do it.”
Coleman’s decision to back out of the character put the production on hold. They were planning to begin filming this summer, but now a scheduled date is unknown.