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Exclusive: Dodged A Bullet? Zendaya Talks Aaliyah Biopic

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At just 18 years old Zendaya is taking control of her career. Her first order of business? Ditch that Aaliyah biopic that was making her “miserable”.

There was a brief moment in time when the Disney actress was set to star as Aaliyah in the Lifetime biopic, but after endless backlash and the disapproval of the late singer’s family, Zendaya decided the project wasn’t right for her. “I think that it is extremely important to follow your gut, follow your Olivia Pope gut … I didn’t feel good about it and I feel like it’s important for me to stand up for myself,” Z told HipHollywood, “I’m just lucky that I have people around me that agree with me and were on my side. I have great parents who listen to me and they saw me be miserable and not be happy and not wake up and want to do something and that’s why you have to be able to trust yourself to make those decisions.”

Zendaya is also making grown woman decision on her new show K.C. Undercover. Not only is she the star, but she’s also a producer on the project. Check back to HipHollywood on Friday to see our exclusive set visit with the multi-talented teen.

EXCLUSIVES

Netflix’s ‘Step Sisters’ Is ‘Bring It On’ … But Way More Woke!

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Netflix is getting ready to “Bring It On” … in more ways than one. The streaming service’s new flick Step Sisters is reminiscent of the 90s dance film, but delves deeper into racial themes like cultural appropriation, tokenization and interracial dating.

In the film Megalyn Echikunwoke (Arrow) plays the president of a black sorority who is tasked with teaching one of the campus’ white sororities how to step for a charity competition. At first glimpse the film seems to be stepping into a can of worms — and had folks on Twitter up in arms, but the creators and cast told HipHollywood it isn’t about cultural appropriation but instead cultural exchange.

“There’s a strong political message, and there’s a lot of racial content,” said Nia Jervier. “But I think that the pill that may be difficult to swallow is dipped in honey, because it’s funny.”

What also helps is that producer/writers like Lena Waithe (Masters of None), Chuck Hayward (Dear White People) and Ben Cory Jones (Underground) are behind the project – so you know it’s woke.

“At the end of the day, Jamila the lead character in our minds she’s reaching over to show them a part of our culture. It doesn’t dilute our culture,” said Jones. ” And I love that we can take stepping and evolve that into issues of race and culture.”

Step Sisters begins streaming on Netflix January 20th.

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