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Opinion Editorial: Should Zendaya Coleman Portray Aaliyah?

Since the announcement, there has been quite a bit of commotion about Disney’s “Shake It Up” actress, Zendaya Coleman, who is playing Aaliyah, in the Lifetime TV biopic. There is so much negativity surrounding the decision. As I was ranting on FaceBook, someone made a comment that more than likely the decision came down to the politics. Thinking about it now, with a clear and unbiased mind, that had to be the main factor. When it comes to the comment section on various social media outlets, people were not taking the acting of Coleman into play but the fact that she looks nothing like Aaliyah, which is true. A little over a handful excluded Coleman’s looks, or lack of, and brought up her acting and singing skills. I will not lie. Yes, I was apart of the angry mob who judged Coleman’s lack of the “Aaliyah” appearance without thinking about her talent. Just as much as we want to point the finger and start a who-is-right and who-is-wrong match, we forget about the ability actors have to make their roles convincing — even if they lack an overall appearance. Be reminded that there is a such thing called makeup and transformation.

Transformation Tuesday

Personally, it feels like everything is blown out of proportion. There are so many actors and actresses that are cast in roles who look nothing like the people they are playing. We just have to see how everything plays out, if that even happens because of another issue. It has to do with Aaliyah’s family.

Aaliyah’s family members are not pleased with Lifetime creating the biopic. Apparently, the Haughton-Hankerson family were not given the memo from Lifetime telling them that the network is in the process of making the biopic. Can you say… messy? According to TMZ, Aaliyah’s then manager who was her uncle, Barry Hankerson, told TMZ that the family is “pissed that no one from the network contacted them about the movie.” On top of the family’s outrage, loyal fans have banded together in creating an online petition to halt production of the film.


I wonder if Zendaya secretly feels caught up in this sticky situation, and if things get worse, will she back out? How does everyone else feel about the situation? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Written by Manny King John

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