Zendaya Claps Back at Aaliyah Biopic Critics

Photo Credit: Instagram
Photo Credit: Instagram

By: Amanda Anderson-Niles

As we reported recently, Aaliyah’s family is not behind the upcoming Lifetime biopic and the actress chosen for the role of the deceased singer has also been getting a lot of backlash.

But Zendaya Coleman is clapping back at her critics and says that being biracial is black enough to play Aaliyah in the upcoming film. She tells Splash News:

​”A lot of people say I’m not black enough. Half black is just enough. ​It doesn’t matter what color you are, it’s about how you portray the character. For those that don’t know, Angela Bassett and Tina Turner, they look nothing alike but she was that character so I think that’s what it’s all about.”

Her father adds:

“They’re shooting this in the summer. She’ll get dark enough.”


  1. “A lot of people say I’m not black enough. Half black is just enough.” <<<< Welp, I won't be watching now!

    1. Yeah that comment threw me off too. Aaliyah was not biracial. She was a light skinned black woman. What’s wrong with people wanting a black actress to get the part when Aaliyah was black and roles for sisters are on the decline anyway? It’s like we’re supposed to be ok with biracial women representing us all the time and we’re wrong for wanting to see more women that look like us in the media. Either way, I won’t be watching this movie.

  2. She sounds very naive and ignorant here. If color doesn’t matter, why can’t a black actor get casted to play the role of a white person in a biopic? Can Zendaya play Marilyn Monroe in a biopic? Of course that won’t happen. But for some reason Hollywood says a biracial actress is good enough to play a black person.

    And people are now upset about her complexion anyway, it’s her acting skills that many are not feeling sure about.

  3. Girl sit your Disney a-s down. Angela Bassett is one of the best black actresses of all time. You wish.

  4. It’s laughable that she’s comparing herself to Angela Bassett and she’s not even that great of an actress. And Angela actually did somewhat resemble Tina Turner. She even nailed her mannerisms. So what is she talking about?

  5. Where is this little girl’s parents? She needs to stop talking now. She is digging herself a hole she won’t be able to climb up out of.

  6. Sigh this is going to be a train wreck. Since she is the mood of saying stuff I would like to know why she still took the part when the family is not involved. How can you be the best Aaliyah possible without learning who she really is. You learn that by the people who knew her and were around her 24/7 not by what we seen on tv and in magazines. Those lifetime people are setting her up.

  7. So having a white mother and black daddy is black enough to steal roles from black actresses, eh? Good to know she has already embraced the racist mindset of Hollywood. -_-

  8. Now see I was going to give her the benefit of doubt, but now I realize she is a classless and selfish young person. Not only is she still going forward with a movie that Aaliyah’s family does not support, but she doesn’t even respect the struggle real black actresses go through. She’s a joke already and she’s not even 18 yet. She can keep talking, but I won’t be watching.

  9. No bueno. She needs to humble herself and take a page out of Lil Mama’s book and let her acting speak for itself. Lil Mama caught worse backlash for playing Left Eye but she remained humble and said nothing. But when it was time to start filming, she nailed it. Now she has gained respect from her peers. Zendaya needs to be silent.

  10. I can already tell she’s not cut out for this life. She’s too sensitive and her daddy is always having breakdowns on Twitter when she gets criticized. Acting may not be for her.

  11. Damn her comments are very offensive considering so many black actresses are getting bumped for biracial women. It’s ok though. Let her talk herself into a lackluster career. I know I will not watch the movie and I didn’t plan on it before she opened up her delusional little mouth.

  12. She has no clue what she’s stepping into. But she’ll see how important color is when she starts to have difficulty getting roles because she’s not white enough either.

  13. While i don’t agree with the movie and probably won’t be watching it since the family is not ok with the whole situation, I think it is sad that our black people are once again using a slave mentality that was started by white slave masters to divide them selves. Someone is not black enough to play a black artist? Do we hear ourselves? I think we play right into the game that Hollywood wants us to play, which is allowing a divide to continue to ripple in our community. Say what you want, but your telling this young girl that she is not black which is wrong in my eyes. She’s caught up in a war that she’s probably been caught in her whole life and she has a right to defend herself. Her response wasn’t too bright but I got the idea.

    1. I want you to name me one biracial actress who ever played the role of white woman in a biopic. I’ll wait.

      1. Thank you! People better wake up. They will hire a biracial person to play a black person in a heartbeat, but they wouldn’t cast her to play a white woman EVER. But we’re not supposed to speak on it though? Whatever.

      2. No, let her stay sleep. We’re supposed to be ok with biracial women representing us when Hollywood’s on the path of eliminating the black actress in exchange for the biracial one. What is wrong with us wanting to see more women who look like us in the media? I just don’t understand why we’re always made to feel guilty for wanting what white people get all the time. They wouldn’t dare cast Zendaya to play a white woman in a biopic film. And that’s the truth.

    2. And for the record, that whole slaves were divided by complexion BS is a lie. Slaves were not divided by skin tone, neither were house slaves and field slaves assigned their roles by how light/dark they were. Read real history books on slavery. That never happened. That’s just another lie used to keep black people from having pride in being black.

  14. I knew these comments would be interesting. Look, the issue isn’t her complexion, race…none of that stuff. The family isn’t for the film, so out of respect she should not have even taken the role to begin with. Especially if she claims to be such a huge Aaliyah fan (which I doubt very much). If the family isn’t for it, it shouldn’t happen because they know more about her than anyone else. So off gate the movie is already going to suck because the story won’t be accurate.

    And let’s be real. Hollywood and the media is slyly pushing out the image of a black woman and they are pushing forward the “kind of black” woman instead. We don’t even see black women in music videos. We’ve been replaced by Kim K clones and biracial women. That is why when we see natural hair in the media, it’s attached to the scalp of a mixed woman. Hell I have girlfriends who went natural and they swore their hair was going to look like some mixed girl’s hair because they never see kinky hair in the advertisements for natural hair products. Crazy huh? It’s an agenda and people are simply pointing it out. There’s no harm in wanting fair representation in the media and in our films about our stars. But again, that isn’t the real issue here.

    And her comments here are tacky, period.

  15. i might be missing where her statement is supposed to be offensive but i agree as long as she can portray aaliyah right i dont see where the problem lies.black people are too stuck on color.her having a black father makes her black in my eyes.

    ….and yes i am a black woman with black PARENTS.lol.

    1. Black people are the ones too stuck on color? So who created slavery for an entire race based off the color of skin? And to the right of me on this blog, I see a natural hair product ad with a white woman in it. Some of y’all won’t catch all of this until there won’t be any brown faces on TV, films, and the media ever again. Then y’all will be upset but it will be too late. I’m sleep tho.

      PS. DNA says one black parent and one white parent doesn’t make you black. It makes you biracial. The one drop rule is not even possible scientifically.

  16. People, people, stop your hating. Zendaya is biracial, however, having to play this person is not unheard of just because she is not totally black. Remember that this is a movie about a singer/actress who left us way too early. MOVIE! ACTING! Just because she is not TOTALLY BLACK does not mean she cannot portray this singer/actress. YOU ALL NEED TO CHILL and give her a chance. If she was your daughter and biracial, wouldn’t you want her to have that opportunity? This is what is wrong with our world, people not being FAIR (not complexion). This subject not important enough to cause this much conflict.

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