“We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold,” Lifetime’s public relations department said on Twitter.
It was confirmation of a statement that Zendaya’s representative to E! News earlier on Sunday saying the 17-year-old Disney star “is no longer involved in the project.”
As was previously reported, the project was not one that was a favorite of Aaliyah’s fans and her family which expressed disapproval of the project. In fact, fans even circulated a petition to stop production from going forward.
Lifetime’s announcement also noted that Zendaya was set to re-record some of Aaliyah’s songs. However, as we reported, Jomo Hankerson, Aaliyah’s cousin and president of her label Blackground Records, said that the family was not down with granting permission of the late singer’s songs to be used.
“Because we control the masters [to Aaliyah’s recordings], the rights and some images of the musical elements that we put together like the videos, and photo shoots and things that we did, what we can just withhold those elements from the production, which we would do,” said Hankerson.