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Petition filed to stop Aaliyah movie from being made

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Multiple news sources recently reported on the announcement by Lifetime that the cable network would be producing an original movie about the life of R&B singer Aaliyah.  The network also announced that teen singer and Disney actress Zendaya Coleman is tentatively set to play Aaliyah in the biopic.

While some fans took to social media to express their support for the film, according to Madamenoire, many fans expressed outrage both about Coleman being chosen to play Aaliyah and the fact that the singer’s family has not been consulted about the film.  The family has been very vocal in the past about not wanting Aaliyah’s music or story to be used without their permission.

The petition posted on ipetitions.com reads as follows:

“This petition is to stop the making of this Aaliyah biopic.  It’s wrong that Aalyiah’s mother or brother didn’t have a say so in this movie that is being made.  The fans didn’t get a say so and neither did any of Aaliyah’s friends.  As her fans, we’re going to do anything in our power to stop this movie.  Little do we know, this is hurting Mrs. Haughton and Rashad.  They’re about to make something that didn’t even get approved from her family.  That is beyond disrespectful.  If you agree that this movie shouldn’t be made, you need to vote.  If you really respect Aaliyah, you have to respect her mother and her brothers wishes.  It’s only right.  It was Aaliyah’s life.  And they’re taking it too far now.  We need to put a stop to this!”

Casting director Twinkie Byrd has responded to the criticism by telling angry fans that they need to “stop trying to diminish Coleman’s moment and the casting decision.”  Lifetime has not officially responded to the petition, but it appears as though they will face an uphill battle marketing the movie to fans if they do not get the permission of Aaliyah’s family and possibly reconsider their casting decision.