Zendaya Coleman is setting the record straight about her abrupt departure from the lead role in the upcoming Aaliyah biopic. In short, her message is simple: She didn't exit because of her critics; she exited because of her conscience.
Looking fresh-faced and calm, the Disney actress took to Instagram to explain her decision.
"Let me just explain something," Zendaya begins in the first of a three-video series. "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."
In the second clip, she gets into the specifics.
"The main reasons were 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 lamented. "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. Therefore, I felt not really morally okay with moving forward with the project."
Still, she harbors no ill will toward anyone else involved in Lifetime's Aaliyah: Princess of R&B film.
"With all that being said, congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah," she stated in her final video post. (That woman happens to be Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp, who was confirmed as Coleman's replacement last week.)
"I only hope that she does not have to deal with half the hate that I had to deal with. Remember that we are all human beings trying to do what we love to do. Let's practice motivation and love, not discrimination and hate, all right?" she urged before signing off with a kiss.
We'll have to wait and see how Lifetime's biopic (which Wendy Williams is now exec-producing) turns out, but we think this short Zendaya video series deserves four stars on its own.