Controversy Brews Over Zendaya Cast as Aaliyah in Biopic: Wendy Williams Unsure, Keke Palmer Defends
Now television talk show host Wendy Williams is sharing her thoughts on the casting decision, while actress KeKe Palmer is coming to Zendaya’s defense.
Headlines have been buzzing ever since Zendaya was officially cast to play the role of Aaliyah in a TV film that has the late singer’s family up in arms.
For some fans, the major concern was whether or not Zendaya looked like Aaliyah. For others, there were concerns about Zendaya’s acting ability and vocal skills.
Earlier this week, Williams shared her concerns about the casting. She said that while Zendaya would be “cute enough” to play the role, she feels that her casting could still be a mistake.
“From what I was told, Zendaya is actually going to be singing Aaliyah’s songs, which I think could be a mistake,” Williams said during her morning talk show. “I don’t know how Zendaya sings, but you don’t even want to leave anything to chance because people are going to be very, very critical.”
Zendaya released an album in 2013, but so far only one song from the album has had much success.
Her single “Replay” is still attracting a sizable audience, but it might not be enough to make Aaliyah fans feel that she can do the “One in a Million” songstress justice.
Meanwhile, Keke Palmer is coming to Zendaya’s defense and reminding everyone that she was not expected to do well when she was cast as Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas in the TLC biopic.
“Support the young ppl coming up y’all,” Palmer said as she launched a series of tweets in Zendaya’s defense. “I’ll never forget how I was unmercifully dragged when I was casted to play Chili lmao! Now, that’s all I hear I look like! Zendaya is perfect for Aaliyah. Quit playin’. “
“I don’t think the actor is the only one they should be attacking….What is written is written,” Palmer continued. “If you’re doing it, it is for you.”
She also encouraged fans to watch the movie first because Zendaya could surprise them all just as she managed to shock TLC fans with an impressive performance.
Meanwhile, Zendaya says she can’t please everyone and she is perfectly OK with that.
The young starlet is focused on the grand opportunity before her and trying to fight off nerves.
“I’m really excited because this is something that I worked really hard on and I auditioned for, and I was really, really psyched to hear the news,” she said during a June 17 appearance on BET’s “106 & Park.” “I’m getting nervous just saying it.”
She also took to Twitter on Monday to explain what this role really means to her.
“I’m just a 17-year-old girl who got cast to play one of her biggest inspirations #positive,” she tweeted in response to all the backlash.
For now, production with the film is scheduled to move forward as Aaliyah’s family continues to object to reducing the singer’s life story into a small-screen biopic.