Aaliyah’s family and fans are not too happy about the Lifetime biopic, Aaliyah: Princess of R&B. Their main points are that they were not contacted, her story is too big for the small screen and not to mention the casting of Zendaya Coleman as the lead to play Aaliyah.
Aaliyah’s uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson released a statement Friday, urging fans to bombard Lifetime Network with calls and letters to stop the film’s production.
The statement reads:
“Aaliyah was more than a singer, she was -and is still – an American music icon whose legacy continues to live on and influence today’s music culture, just as Ray Charles, Notorious B.I.G., Selena and Johnny Cash.
Considering the magnitude of her fans’ affection alone, she deserves to have a tribute much more grand than a television network debut that won’t even consider the perspectives of those who were closest to Aaliyah.
Disregarding the families and dishonoring the legacies of celebrated figures who have passed on, big networks want to exploit their stories for a buck. We’re here to make it clear that it’s not okay!
Lifetime Television is trying to dictate the status of our heroes, our heroines and – in this case – our beloved Aaliyah. We implore everyone to call Lifetime Television, send emails and bombard social media so they know we demand respect for our cultural icons.
We will not sit idly by while they misrepresent and reap profits from our luminaries. There is more at stake than the public could imagine.”