Zendaya Coleman (better known as simply Zendaya) posted a string of Instagram videos explaining why she dropped out of Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic following the announcement of her replacement, Alexandra Shipp, on Friday.
The Disney star said that her decision wasn’t based on her not being “talented enough” or “black enough.”
“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,” she said.
She went as far as saying she didn’t feel “morally okay moving forward with the project” after she was unable to get in contact with the singer’s family.
“Basically, I just felt that because I love her, and because I respect her so much as an artist, I don’t want to do anything that’s half or anything that’s less for her,” she told reporters at the BET Awards last month. “I felt like some things with the production weren’t all the way there, the project wasn’t all the way there. If I’m going to do something for someone I care about so much, I have to do it the right way.”
Wendy Williams is exec producing the movie about the 22-year-old singer, who died in a plane crash in 2001. The project has generated significant pushback from the late R&B star’s fans, including an online petition to shut down production, and family members. Production was supposed to start this summer and the TV movie was slated to premiere in the fall.