Since news broke that Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman was cast as the lead in the upcoming Lifetime biopic of R&B singer Aaliyah’s life, the response has been divided.

While many celebrated the pick, citing Coleman’s ability to sing, dance, and act, others thought choosing a biracial actress to play the singer was tantamount to whitewashing.

Now, Coleman is speaking out. Splash News caught up with the actress to get her thoughts on the matter.

“​A lot of people say I’m not black enough. Half black is just enough,” she said before bringing her father, who is African-American, into the frame.​ “​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.”

Zendaya’s father, Kazembe Ajamu Coleman, had a little something to say​ as well.

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

Uh…glad we got that all cleared up. 

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  • Nerdstradamas

    Zendaya is so annoyingly young and naive. Like when she tried to get on Twitter and tell the world how to properly pronounce Aaliyah’s name. If Timbaland, Missy and the rest of her peers and fans called her Ah-liyah, vs. Uh-liyah for YEARS – who are you to have an issue. She tried it.

    Just like she tried it with the Angela Bassett vs. Tina Turner arguements. Grant it, facially Tina and Angela aren’t exactly alike- but Angela has an athletic build, their complexions weren’t night and day, and Angela has the chops. She transformed and became that role.

    Something about Zendaya as a choice reeks of privilege from her name recognition to her appearance. She doesn’t have the swag, her voice is lack luster, and I’m biased towards Disney kids because they seem terribly manufactured. She’s absent of all authentic swag and coolness…I don’t understand.

  • The Other Jess

    Thanks, Clutch, for truly proving you are no different than the mainstream media (that’s not a compliment) by deleting my comment simply because it wasn’t in agreement with your agenda and point of view.

    Although completely non-offensive, and respectfully opinionated, you still chose to moderate it out of the conversation. Can’t have too much commonsense floating around these parts, huh? Have to keep the masses all bent out of shape about nonsense for click ratings!

    • blogdiz

      its shows on my screen as waiting moderation not deleted I read it good points even if i didn’t agree with everything this is not an Amen corner hopefully its a glitch

    • Brad

      Same here so I don’t think it was deleted, I think some one “fat fingered” something and your comment got in a weird state is all.

  • habinerenmei

    I love how you all are dogging this chick for wanting to play a woman that fit the light skinned Goddess stereotype.

  • vintagesouleclectic

    My only problem is that some bi-racial people are selectively black…..sometimes they call themselves bi-racial but then become black when it is beneficial for them….they reject the black moniker when it does not benefit them.

  • Well now this is what y’all been promoting, asking for and longing for over the last five or six years now you got it and guess what now you are complaining about it. Go figure!