Zendaya Just Spoke Out About the Need for More Diversity on the Disney Channel

"There needs to be a black family on the Disney Channel. "

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Like so many young stars, Zendaya got her start on the Disney Channel. First, she costarred in Shake It Up alongside Bella Thorne, but when her first Disney show came to an end, Zendaya made an interesting decision: Instead of moving on to feature films and more adult projects right away, she signed on for a second Disney series.

That show was K.C. Undercover, a show about a black family of spies that Zendaya both starred in and produced. In a new interview with Black-ish star Yara Shahidi for Glamour, she opens up about why she decided to stay at the children's network and bring K.C. to fruition.

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"I didn’t feel like there was any other choice," she explained. "I was like, 'If I’m going to do this, this is how it has to be.' There needs to be a black family on the Disney Channel. A lot of people who aren’t people of color can’t quite understand what it’s like to grow up and not see yourself in mainstream media. And you know, there is so much work left to be done. I’ve talked about this before, but can I honestly say I would be in the position I’m in if I weren’t a lighter-skinned black woman? No."

Yara completely agreed, adding, "One thing that I constantly say is that my goal is not to be the face of black girls. The goal is to open the door so widely that I am drowning in a sea of—."

"In a sea of black girls," Zendaya finished the thought for her. "Absolutely."

As Zendaya said though, there's so much work left to be done to make that dream a reality.

Kayleigh Roberts is the weekend editor at Marie Claire, covering celebrity and entertainment news, from actual royals like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Hollywood royalty, like Katie Holmes and Chrissy Teigen. She’s a Ravenclaw who would do great things in Slytherin. To learn more about her, google “Leslie Knope eating salad GIF.