New Aaliyah actress announced

The Aaliyah biopic took a turn last month as Zendaya Coleman mysteriously dropped out of the film. They were quick to find the new Aaliyah in 23-year old Alexandra Shipp (above), who hails from Phoenix and stars in Nickelodeon’s House of Anubis, and the upcoming of VH1 sequel to Drumline.

The biopic also found its new executive producer: Wendy Williams. Here she is commenting on how she feels Aaliyah fans drove Zendaya to drop the project because “she’s not black enough” to play Aaliyah.

I’ve been rallying around about this Lifetime movie about Aaliyah. Telling the family stop complaining, it’s going to be on the small screen, small screen is the business. Very few people go to the movies anymore, you know what I mean? It’s expensive and the popcorn is no good for you. Well so, Zendaya apparently heard that I’ve been rallying around her and she sent me a little thing through the computer saying “Thank you Mrs. Wendy for you supporting me and that just happened on Friday. Well dog gone it, do you know that now on Monday that we found out that Zendaya has pulled out of the movie?”

That’s your fault! You! And whoever said she was too light to play Aaliyah, that’s your fault. You got on this girl’s back and now she’s chickened out. I can’t believe were still dealing with light/dark in 2014; it’s about the spirit of the movie. I thought that she would be a great Aaliyah because I don’t know enough about Zendaya so she wouldn’t be distracting me.

This feels like one of those “everything is meant to be” moments. Congrats to Shipp, happy to hear the biopic is moving forward.