With the casting of two additional actors in Lifetime’s biopic on the singer Aaliyah, new charges of Hollywood colorism are arising, reports TheWrap.com.
Lifetime has tapped Canadian singer and dancer Chattrisse Dolabaille to play Missy Elliott, while Izaak Smith of “So You Think You Can Cance” will play Timbaland. Elliott and Timbaland are the two mentors who worked with Aaliyah on her second album, the story notes.
The piece reports: “Both actors have been considered by many fans and social media users as being ‘too light-skinned’ and ‘too thin’ to play the roles, especially in the case of Dolabaille.”
The Urban Daily said Dolabaille is “much lighter” and “much smaller” than Elliott, with the problem being that women of color with darker skin “have been increasingly feeling disrespected by filmmakers as of late because they are not finding themselves represented on the screen as much as they should be.”
It’s the second time the project has sparked charges of colorism, after the biopic cast Disney star Zendaya Coleman in the lead role. The casting of Zendaya was criticized over observations that Zendaya is lighter skinned than Aaliyah, who was killed at 22 in a plane crash in 2001.
Zendaya exited the project in June, and was critical of the production, as we reported previously. She was later replaced in the lead role by Alexandra Shipp.