Zendaya Coleman, Aaliyah

Zendaya Cast as Aaliyah in Biopic, Ignorance Flourishes

Zendaya Coleman's casting as Aaliyah in biopic causes stir

Zendaya Coleman’s casting as Aaliyah in biopic causes stir

The announcement that Disney star Zendaya Coleman will play Aaliyah in a forthcoming Lifetime biopic hasn’t gone as well as the network probably hoped. But they should be used to that by now.

The 17-year-old actress/singer/dancer will take on the short-lived star, to whom she paid homage at Keep A Child Alive‘s “Dream Halloween” event in October 2013.

The immediate backlash has included complaints that Zendaya doesn’t look enough like Aaliyah, who died in a fatal plane crash on August 25, 2001.

Some people have basically called for an Aaliyah doppelganger to portray her, regardless of acting, singing or dancing abilities.

Not Black Enough

And some comments have gone as far to call Zendeya white or Mexican or Asian, while others come from an alternate reality where Aaliyah was dark-skinned and “fully black.”