It’s no secret that Aaliyah’s family isn’t too happy about Lifetime creating a biopic of the late singer’s life. They’ve spoken out in the media, hiring lawyers to completely block the release of the made-for-tv movie. Now, Aaliyah’s cousin, Jomo Hankerson (who is also president of Aaliyah’s label, Blackground Records) is speaking out in an interview with V-103. But he’s not necessarily against the film, however, he is against it being on the small screen and would rather Zoe Saldana play Aaliyah than Disney sweetheart, Zendaya Coleman.
“This Lifetime thing came out of the blue. We saw it when the press release was released when everybody else did. My one problem with what Lifetime is doing musically, is that they’re actually having the young lady recut Aaliyah’s vocals,” Hankerson said. “Aaliyah went through a similar situation after the R. Kelly thing so I hate to see a young woman go through the kind of backlash she’s getting. She’s [Zendaya] trying to get a job. It’s not her. Our problem is with Lifetime and the way they did the project, and again, like I said, the platform.”
Hankerson continued, “I just think this needs theaters. This needs to be a major movie film. I would love to get Zoe Saldana [to play Aaliyah]. I think she can pull off the acting part of it and she’s obviously gorgeous and beautiful.”
Many people are angry about Coleman playing Aaliyah, mostly because she’s not “Black enough.” What’s funny about Hankerson’s choice is that Saldana faced the same criticism about not being Black enough when she was cast as the late jazz singer, Nina Simone. Hmm, we’re going to have a chat with Jomo Hankerson and ask him all about his preference in having Zoe Saldana play his cousin. Stay tuned!
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