Zendaya Coleman (code name: That Girl From The Disney Channel People Born Before 1992 Never Talked About Before Last Month) offered an explanation behind her decision to exit Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic after it was revealed on Friday that Alexandra Shipp had been tapped to play the late R&B singer.
“Let me just explain something,” Coleman said in the first video posted to her Instagram account. “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 that 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 also added that she attempted to contact Aaliyah’s family but was unsuccessful.
“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,” she said. “Therefore, I felt not really morally okay with moving forward with the project.”