[Blind Gossip] A young actress recently departed an upcoming production. Despite the public statements, her departure was not voluntary. Want to know what really happened?
The casting for this upcoming movie was announced. However, the public complained about the producer’s choice for the lead role because of “her look.”
The producers buckled under the backlash. They publicly continued to support their choice… but quickly started looking for a replacement. All of their secondary choices were already booked, so they went to a performance showcase. They saw a young, unknown actress there who had the basic skills and, more importantly, “looked the part.” They pulled her aside and told her that they were offering her the star-making role of a lifetime… but that she only had fifteen minutes to decide! Of course, The Replacement jumped at the chance.
As soon as the Replacement agreed, the producers called in the Original Actress for a meeting and told her that she was being fired. She was shocked and disappointed and cried. They told her that if she left quietly, they would pretend that it was her decision and that the movie was on hold. However, if she created a fuss and did not leave quietly, they were going to announce that they were firing her and re-casting the role. She agreed to leave quietly.
They found The Replacement on Saturday. On Sunday, The Original Actress publicly announced that she was pulling out of the film because of unspecified “production issues.” The producers followed up saying that they were “sad” that The Original Actress had decided to leave, and that the entire project was now on hold.
Ha! They were all lying! The Original Actress was fired, there were no production issues, the project is not on hold, they have already hired The Replacement, production is back on schedule, a complete unknown is going to become a star… and it only took screwing over one young actress to make it all happen! Look for an announcement of the re-casting early next week, with the producers pretending that their discovery of The Replacement was a happy accident.
The Replacement (to be announced next week):
Movie/Role: Aaliyah: Princess of R&B
Original Actress: Zendaya Coleman
The Replacement (just announced today): Alexandra Shipp
Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic is back on! What a shock! Not. We told you that they were ready to go into production and that the firing of Zendaya Coleman was not about to stop them.
This story took some twists and turns in the past couple of weeks since we ran the original blind item, so we’ll catch you up on the basics.
Zendaya Coleman was replaced in the starring role because producers buckled under public pressure to replace her. What was the big uproar? That she was too light to play Aaliya! Zendaya Coleman is biracial (black and white) and people did not like the fact that she is lighter than Aaliya. So the producers fired her in the way we described in the blind.
After she was fired… there was another backlash about possible raacism involved in firing Zendaya because of her skin color.
The producers scrambled to find another girl. They did go to the performance showcase as we described and picked a darker-skinned girl. However, while she looked like Aaliyah, she just didn’t work out. Too green. Finally, they brought actress Alexandra Shipp aboard.
Alexandra Shipp is described in the article below as a “Nickelodeon star.” Well, she did appear on a Nickelodeon show called House of Anubis last year, and she did appear in one episode of Victorious, but she doesn’t even rank among the top 20,000 actors on IMDB, so that might be a bit of a stretch.
Here’s the most ironic part: After all that strum und drang of hiring and firing and tears and spinning and hiring and firing (whew!), they needed to get into production so badly that they wound up hiring… another light-skinned girl!
Aaliyah Biopic Gets New Star
Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp is set to play the R&B legend Aaliyah in an upcoming Lifetime biopic scheduled to premier this fall, according to talk show host Wendy Williams, who is an executive producer on the project. Shipp takes on the role after Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman opted out in June.
Williams tweeted news of the the cast change on Friday:
The film, Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, will portray the life of the beloved singer who’s [sic] music topped the pop charts from 1994 until her untimely death in a 2001 plane crash at 22. The TV movie will be based on the biography, Aaliyah: More Than a Woman, by former TIME editor Christopher John Farley.
The singer died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22 after filming a music video in the Bahamas. Eight others died in the accident.
You know that producer Wendy Williams is going to find some neat way to spin this. We just feel bad for Zendaya. That poor girl got thrown under the bus. “Opted out”? Nope. Screwed over.
Alexandra Shipp is very light-skinned (see pic below). Like Zendaya, she is biracial (black and white). Do you think they’ll try to make her look more “black” for the film?
Congratulations to everyone who got this one right, starting with Twistedme!