Zoe Saldana, the Afro-Latina actress is playing the legendary musician, Nina Simone in the movie 'Nina.' The music star was known for her musical contributions in classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. Simone was also a civil rights activist, stood up for black empowerment, and was"unapologetically black."
Saldana has been facing a lot of criticism ever since she was chosen to play the role of Simone. People are saying Saldana's skin is too light to play the role, and her features are just not right. To fit into character, Saldana darkened her skin with makeup and used a prosthetic nose.
While most people agree this is definitely not a race issue, as they are both black, it is a colorism issue.
Here's what Saldana said in the July 2015 issue of InStyle magazine:
“I didn’t think I was right for the part, and I know a lot of people will agree, but then again, I don’t think Elizabeth Taylor was right for Cleopatra either,” Saldana said in the interview. “An artist is colorless, genderless… It’s more complex than just ‘Oh, you chose the Halle Berry look-alike to play a dark, strikingly beautiful, iconic black woman.’ The truth is, they chose an artist who was willing to sacrifice herself. We needed to tell her story because she deserves it.”
People are asking:
"Why not just cast an actress who physically represents Nina Simone a little better?"
Nina Simone's daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly actually defends Zoe Saldana. She told the Time magazine that it's unfortunate that Saldana is being attacked so viciously. However, Simone Kelly is upset with the inaccuracies of the movie.
"The project has been tainted from the very beginning," Simone Kelly said. "Clearly, it is not the truth about my mother's life, and everyone now knows that. This is not how you want your loved ones remembered."