Naya Rivera has shared their outrage over the ‘disrespectful’ decision to recast the late Glee star’s character in the Step Up TV series.
Monday saw Ne-Yo and Starz bosses confirm that actress and singer Christina Milian would be taking over the role of Collette Jones, which was played by Rivera for the first two seasons of the dance drama.
However, fans had been under the belief that the character would be killed off in season three after Rivera’s shock death in July 2020.
Taking to Twitter to share their fury about the decision to have another person step in to Rivera’s role, one fan wrote: ‘all the viewers you had, you just lost. I understand you have to keep the show going but saying naya is irreplaceable and then replacing her is a complete contradiction. You messed up… big time.’
Another added: ‘there are so many ways that collette could have been respectfully written off. this is just disrespectful. it’s almost as if you’re expecting the audience to pretend like naya was never collette.’
‘it’s her 7th month anniversary have some respect. and no, naya fans will not be watching. u cant just replace her good luck w the show bc it’s not getting any views after this. so disrespectful (sic),’ another viewer commented.
“There is no replacing Naya”
…….um that’s exactly what you’re doing….. pic.twitter.com/sJRpMReKrH
— Earper Army ?️? (@EarperArmy) February 8, 2021
One upset fan tweeted: ‘Marvel Studios and Disney aren’t recasting T’Challa even though he’s one of the most beloved and important characters in the MCU and has existed for decades and even before Chad Boseman was born. But they couldn’t write Naya’s character out and cast Christina as someone new?’
The fan commented had been in reply to a statement released by star and producer Ne-Yo about the casting change.
He explained: ‘There is no replacing Naya. Let’s get that straight. Her spirit lives on in our memories and every part of what this show is and will be. Christina has big shoes to fill and she knows it, which speaks to her poise and respect as a person and an artist.
‘I’m more than certain of her ability to bring an energy and light to this character that Naya’s fans as well as the rest of the world will love. We’ve welcomed Christina with absolute open arms and have rallied around her with love and support. I’m excited and can’t wait for the world to see this.’
Milian also shared a statement claiming she hoped to honor Rivera with her take on the role.
‘I am so excited to join the Step Up family,’ the 39-year-old said. ‘I know I have massive shoes to fill. Naya was incredible. I hope to honour Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance.’
Step Up is a reimaging of the film series of the same name and is set at a performing arts school in Atlanta, Georgia, where filming is under way on the new series.
Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, who co-starred in the original film in 2006, serve as executive producers on the TV show.
Rivera, best known for playing cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee, went missing during a boat trip with her four-year-old son at Lake Piru.
Her body was found following a five-day search. Rivera’s son, Josey, was unharmed.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office said the cause of death was accidental drowning.