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Zendaya has reached an interesting point in her career right now. At only 23, she’s gone from a former Disney and Marvel star to the head of her own HBO show, and in between these she starred in the popular musical The Greatest Showman. Between having such a varied fanbase and being a woman of color, she knows the stakes are high and she has to keep her audience in mind, recently explaining how projects like The Greatest Showman still do affect the ways she puts out new content.
If you’ve kept tabs on Zendaya at all, you may already know that when Euphoria was just coming out, she actually put out a message letting her fans know the content might be triggering for some. She said she does this because she knows she has a large youth fanbase from projects like The Greatest Showman or Spider-Man: Far From Home and also she has a lot of fans her own age or younger who may not relate to material like Euphoria.
I think a lot of my fans have grown up with me, so some of them are my own age. But obviously, I still have young ones, still that watch Disney channel or that watch Greatest Showman or Spider-Man or things like that. Going back to influence and I do take a heavy responsibility but I’m appreciative about that because I think there’s a lot of good I can do… Now, more than ever, specifically with Black Lives Matter and all of that I feel an obligation to make sure that I’m aware and putting out the right things and in line with organizers and people on the ground.
The comments come a few months after Zendaya previously spoke out about her platform, noting that she feels she has “less room to make mistakes” than many others in Hollywood. She said at the time that she feels that’s true due to her age, being a relevant Black actress on the big and small screen, and also simply because she’s very hard on herself. Adding to that, these new comments to THR seem to indicate she feels she has a responsibility to her fans as well.
On the one hand, being able to do projects as varied as The Greatest Showman and Euphoria is great because it means casting directors see her as being able to take on a wide swath of roles, but it also means Zendaya herself is hyperaware of her brand at any given moment. Though, she says like most of us, she’s just trying to “do the best” she’s able to please everyone from young women to groups like Black Lives Matter.
I’m just figuring it out as I go. Like I’m trying to do the best I can. When it came to Euphoria I just wanted to let my fans know, even the ones who were my age or older than me, that I still felt their support even if they felt the material or things were too triggering for them.
In Euphoria, Zendaya plays Rue, a former drug addict still struggling. The HBO series has mature themes and nudity – absolutely there were no fun “singalong” events for this project. However, the series has netted her an Emmy nomination and has definitely shown her fanbase a different side to the actress' abilities. However, she does recognize she can do those sorts of projects, but still feels she has a responsibility to her younger fans, as the tweet noted. Besides, she'll be back in a more family-friendly role once Sony's third Spider-Man movie gets off the ground, if you are someone who is more interested in the more family-friendly side of her body of work.