Posted in: Movies

Zoe Saldana Is Too ‘Light Skinned’ To Play Nina Simone? Petition Started To Recast The High Priestess of Soul

nina simone

Is Zoe Saldana too “light skinned” to play Nina Simone? The Avatar actress was recently cast as The High Priestess of Soul for an upcoming biopic, but not everyone agrees with the casting choice.

A petition has been circulated on asking the producers of the film to re-cast the role with a dark skinned actress.

The petition reads:

“Nina Simone, dubbed The High Priestess of Soul, is an American icon and a music legend. Because of this, it is without a doubt straight up disrespectful to Ms. Simone and her legacy to get an actress who looks nothing like she did to portray her in a movie about her life. Getting light complexioned actors to play the roles of dark complexioned historical figures is not only a sign of blatant disrespect to the persons they are portraying, but it is also disrespectful to their families, to history, to the people who look like the persons being whitewashed, and to the intelligence of the audience.”

NPR reports that Simone, who passed away in 2003, said often in interviews that she felt that Hollywood penalized dark-skinned actors. Simone Kelly, the singer’s daughter, also said that she wasn’t happy with the choice to cast Saldana.

Kelly said:

“My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark. Appearance-wise (Zoe Saldana) is not the best choice.”

According to the Huffington Post, Saldana will wear a prosthetic nose and an afro wig and will have her skinned darkened for the role. Here’s a picture of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone.

zoe saldana

Kelly adds that there are a number of dark-skinned actresses who could have been cast for the movie. Kelly said that she would have liked to see Viola Davis or Kimberly Elise in the role. Kelly said that her mother wanted Whoopi Goldberg to play her.

The petition continues:

“For too long Hollywood has gotten away with this practice of revisionist history and it is time that we let our voices be heard, be it by this petition or by boycotting the movie if no change has been made as to who will portray Nina Simone.”

Do you think Zoe Saldana is too light skinned to play Nina Simone?

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99 Responses to “Zoe Saldana Is Too ‘Light Skinned’ To Play Nina Simone? Petition Started To Recast The High Priestess of Soul”

  1. Melody Laster

    For me, it's not just about the lighter skinned aspect, as much as it is the woman made a suggestion about who she wanted to play her. Respect that. If her daughter doesn't want Zoe, respect that. At least consider those. Regardless of who's being portrayed, it just makes sense to cast someone who looks like the person being portrayed, if you can find a qualified actor. The suggestions were good ones, someone like Viola Davis or Kimberly Elise certainly could play Ms. Simone. Hollywood does this – they want who they think is 'hot,' or has 'the look,' but there are other excellent African-American actresses. Nothing at all against Zoe.

  2. Daniel Adams

    They meant light skinneded as black people say because they don't know how to speak proper english. What is the difference a darkie is a darkie who cares.

  3. Heather Johnson

    Would there be this much outrage if a lighter skinned white person got a tan to play a part?

  4. Eshany Le'Ann Edwards

    No. Your kind hasn't been oppressed for centuries due to skin color like people of color have so how about you happily have a coliseum of seats?

  5. Eshany Le'Ann Edwards

    There's no such thing as "proper" English. Hopefully you meant Standard English. There are many variations of English and "light skinneded" could happen to be AAVE, a variation of english. Try to refrain from posting ignorance online. Kay?

  6. Heather Johnson

    And how is arguing that a black woman isn't "dark enough" any different?

    This is a movie. Made to make money. Thus, the studio is hiring an actress who will bring in more money.

  7. Nao Wolfe

    I don't think it's just to make money, it's also to tell the story of Nina Simone.

  8. TaMeisha Buchanan

    What I don't get is, why are they darkening Zoe's skin when they can just cast someone who already has the darker skin tone?

  9. Anonymous

    Heather Johnson the movie business isn't all about money. It's also an art form. A balance should be struck. There are hot actresses out there who are more of a likeness to Nina Simone than Zoe Saldana. They man not be AS hot, but there are more other choices.

  10. Flores de Mukhmal

    It was ok for Denzel to play Malcolm X. Cicely Tyson played Coretta Scott King. Why not Zoe to play Nina? It's ok if a darker skinned person plays a lighter skinned person? If she's a really good actress I'm going to forget all about that and get caught up in the character she's playing, not the actress herself! Let's find something better to complain about!

  11. Terry Holmes

    Zoe Saldana wasn't selected because she was light skinned. She was selected because she's talented and a hot commodity at the moment because of her work on Avatar and Star Trek. More than anything the film makers want the film to be a commercial success. Well that might not happen is a lesser named actor is cast in the role. Zoe Saldana is being judged for the color of her skin and not the quality of her acting. What I find really offensive is that what's basically being said here is that Zoe Saldana isn't black enough to play this role!

  12. Shawn Li

    This is absolutely true….except there are a number of actresses who look more like Nina Simone who are just as talented if not MORE talented than she is…. I agree with you that color and race are not factors here but, The "pretty" vs "not as pretty" factor is. She is a talented actress but, Nina simone's look and her unwillingness to change it in order to conform to societies view of what was beautiful and what wasn't at the time is part of here story, and I think that if nothing else this directly underminds that and THAT in my opinion is what is so DISRESPECTFUL about this.

  13. Jeremy Hunter

    Here's an idea…if you don't like who is playing the character, DON'T GO TO THE CINEMA TO SEE IT! Take it a step further. Write a script, get a production company to fund the project, and make your own movie; then you'll be able to hire the deepest complexioned African-American actress you can find to play the part. I would be more concerned about how well Ms. Saldana portrays Ms. Simone regarding her personality and demeanor. I would also be concerned about how well the script is written…hoping that the writers didn't blow things out of proportion or over-simplify her life and career or that they didn't unjustly vilify or canonize Ms. Simone.

    It's a shame that a socio-ethnic group that was oppressed for over a century because of the color of their skin is making a big scene over skin color now. I think Zoe Saldana is a fantastic actress and this movie will benefit greatly from her name being in the cast list.

  14. Carissa Marris

    I also disagree with the casting. I know she's been cast to appeal to be a box office draw, but let's explore that for a moment. One, althought white men (who make up the majority of movie goers) think she's hot, they won't go and see this movie because of the way she's made up. It's not an attractive look in their world. Two, Zoe hasn't had a hit since Avatar. Her box office appeal is being overestimated from the start. India Arie or Lauryn Hill would be much better choices. They look the bart more and both are fantastic singers, like Simone.

  15. Winter Slaughter

    I am not usually someone who is easily offended by things regarding race issues, but this truly is offensive. Zoe Saldana is the the be-all and end-all of talented ethnic actresses in Hollywood so I find it very hard to believe that they could not find another talented actress who at least resembles her (without having to have her skin darkened and a fake nose) to play the part. Ignorant people dare ask what the difference is between a dark person being cast in the role of a lighter-skinned person. Well, perhaps you do not have knowledge of the history of race issues in this country and how lighter-skinned blacks and light-skinned Latinas (as Zoe Saldana is) have always had an advantage with being accepted by mainstream everything and darker-skinned black women and Latinas have not. I would think that the handful of opportunities that Hollywood gives to portray darker-skinned historical figures would be taken seriously enough to remain as true to the essence of the person they are portraying as possible. Not only is Zoe Saldana not black (like, not at all, she is Dominican and Puerto Rican), she is is much lighter than Nina Simone and it's a slap in the face to dark-skinned actresses that Hollywood deemed them not talented enough to be considered, even though their body of work may be more extensive than that of Zoe Saldana. Lighter-skinned actresses are always the first to be thought of when it comes to "beautiful celebrities" where they have to put a black or two in there. They are always the first to be thought of when they want a token black woman (or woman of color) to play opposite a white leading man. Dark-skinned actresses are pretty much not on the radar of Hollywood in ways that light-skinned actresses are and to cut this opportunity again is an insult. I will not see this movie with Zoe Saldana playing this role.

  16. Richard A Murray

    I put up Zoe's picture next to nina's and have to say there is no comparison. Painting a black face on a white person is and will always be a sign of disrespect. Painting a light skinned person to seem darker is just as direspectful, especially when the person they are protraying fought against the system that wanted to define what was beautiful. I understand that Zoe is a fan and wanted to play this part. I can sing like Luther in my car but I know better than to try it on a stage surrounded but Luther fans. She'll do the right thing, if not she'll hurt her career.

  17. Brandon Laster

    You're supposed to stick up for your light skinned sisters. You're supposed to have their proverbial pale backs.

  18. Maureen McCormick

    If Sidney Poitier could portray Justice Thurgood Marshall (who was VERY light-skinned) which he did years ago, Zoe Saldana can portray Nina Simone. Who else should be considered? Gabrielle Union? Kerry Washington? One of the women from "The Help?" Do tell!

  19. Danielle Goodwin

    she's technically NOT "black enough" for this role. Nina was a Black American of presumably African descent. Zoe is a Latina. she's half Dominican, half Puerto Rican. Now there are plenty of Dominicans and Puerto Ricans that LOOK black but they are still considered Latino(a). I agree that she was cast because she's the hot ticket but Viola Davis, for instance, is an 2 time oscar nominee and would bring a level of credibility to the role that Zoe doesn't have. Zoe's box office gold but far from an oscar darling…. they really could've tried harder to cast someone that looked like Nina….

  20. Anonymous

    you can't just select an artist due to skin color. That's racist. It also has to do with the actress ability to portay the attitudes and characters of the person she is cast for. You can do a lot with makeup. You can't do enough make up to hide what comes from within. To me it's pretty dumb to be so racist as to select any one for any thing without considering the whole person, not just skin color. So the hollywood moguls have now become the racists and hypocritsw they so claim to hate. Full circle I'd say.

  21. Danielle Goodwin

    Brandon Laster not only do i disagree with that but, even if i did, she is not a light-skinned sister. she's actually a dark Latina LOL but aside from that, we can't support her just cuz she looks like us….i've been a fan of hers since center stage and i will continue to support her career but this was a blatant miscasting

  22. Melonna Clarke

    I agree. As someone of the light variety I find it offensive that someone who is "light" and perfectly qualified and talented enough to play a role is told she can't play the role because of her skin color…what the hell kind of foolery is that? They hold auditions for these things and the best actress wins. That's the business.

  23. Billy Person

    Don't get me wrong, Zoe Saldana can act, but . . . c'mon really? Nina Simone? I have "binders of women" that would be better choices.

  24. Nathalie Hyppolite

    She is not even black. It seems silly to people who have only one complextion but to those people around the world who are not white, it is understood. Its like the last samari played by Tom Cruise. And like The Frog princess. She was human for the shortest length of any disney princess.

  25. Roger Garman

    wow and I thought I was bad when they remake shows and replace white actor with a black one. For instance the honeymooners. Now the outrage is a lighter african american female playing a darker one. alas she is still african american.

  26. Anonymous

    I never thought of Zoe Saldana to be "light skinned" to begin with. She is more brown or dark brown unless she has make-up and a lot of light. Zoe Salanda is an Afro-Latina which makes her eligible to play African American roles. However, there are alot of actresses out there who are African American and not Latina who should be considered. I also think African American actors should start playing Afro- Latino roles as well.

  27. Heather Johnson

    Eshany Le'Ann Edwards "Your kind hasn't been oppressed for centuries due to skin color…" People of every color and creed have been oppressed by other people. Oppression is not just for those with dark skin.

    What if an actress of non-Jewish heritage were playing a Jewish woman in a film? Is that not okay too?

  28. Heather Johnson

    kaii23 The movie "business" is all about money, hence the business part. Studies don't make movies just for the sake of art. If there isn't money to be made, the film doesn't get made.

  29. Heather Cross

    I don't think that she is too light skinned. I feel that there are more established dark skinned actresses to play the part. Why wear prosthesis and paint her skin, when you have the real deal out there willing to play the part.

  30. Anonymous

    Being "too light skinned?" Where was the outcry when Jeffery Wright played MLK? Because that is one light brotha right there! As seeing the other article, India Arie should play as Nina instead of Zoe.

  31. Kelley Blair

    As a light skinned Black AMERICAN, the people who opposes me and belittle me, and sterotype me are Dark skinned Blacks.

  32. Daniel Adams

    A variation? You mean ebonics. Dont make me laugh its called its called uneducated. Try to refrain from posting ignorance. Its okay. You just made my case.

  33. Daniel Adams

    You black people make me sick you worry about the stupidist shit. If you would worry about keeping your kids in school and raising them the right way as much as you worry about black peoples skin color so many blacks wouldnt be in prison.

  34. Daniel Adams

    Eshany Le'Ann Edwards Quit whining if youre oppressed now its you own fault this isnt 1800 get over the used up race card it cant be used for everything.

  35. Daniel Adams

    Melonna Clarke waaaaaaaaaaa!You have your half black president and youre still complaining . What more do you lazy blacks want?

  36. Straus Davis

    When Diana Ross was chosen to play Bille Holiday, what was said about her? Many of you people are very young, and probably don't remember how she was vilified about protraying Lady Day. Diana Ross didn't look anything like Lady Day. She was this skinny, no voice singer. I guess she surprised a lot of people…receiving an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress. It is about acting, isn't it!

  37. Straus Davis

    Shawn Li I think you should get beyond someone looking like or looking more like someone to protray them in a movie or bi-op. Look at all the actors that have protrayed other people and they look nothing like the person they were protraying. With a little make-up, they can do wonders, nowadays. It is about being able to act. It has nothing to do, with whether the actor looks like someone. What is the reason for makeup?

  38. Kadeija J Gee

    They start petitions for anything these days. What happened to content of character instead of the color of skin. If Zoe has the credentials to act as Nina Simone then let her do it. They need to get rid of that makeup though it just makes her look foolish. If the movie sucks then critic her but don't go after her skin color I thought we were past that.

  39. Straus Davis

    Heather, a lighter skinned white person, playing a tan actor, has been done decades ago. In Show Boat, Ava Gardner, played the main character, and Lena Horne, who had done the role in, "Till The Clouds Rolls By", was not given the movie role, rather Lena Horne did the singing, and Ava played the role….

  40. Michael Hawkins

    I like Zoe but those who are true fans of Nina Simone would take in the fact that she had to struggle with being a "dark skinned" woman all her life. Also she stated in many interviews that Hollywood would hire light skinned actor over dark skinned African American actors which she stated that she was totally against. Plus her daughter even said she wanted Whoopi Goldberg to play her, so they should honor her and her family wishes! F@%K what everyone else has to say about the matter!

  41. Bobby D Strickland

    Zoe made it perfectly clear that she is "LATINA" on the Jimmy Kimmel show. The overtone in which she spoke was as if to say "Hey I'm not afro-american, so let's not get it twisted", she may not have meant it that way, but that's how it came across. I have a problem w the prosthetic nose, etc. It remind me of Hollywood when they had white men playing asian, native american characters, etc; when they could've had the real thing ala David Carradine in "Kung Fu" instead of Bruce Lee. For them to make her up that way seems a bit desperate on their part. Hollywood also should also take heed of the election results, which proves that today's population demographics are not as overwhelmingly white as of in the past , when they consider casting.The masses not only love the movies, but recognizes quality acting. Hence, no one knew Frida Pinto before, she's a household name now.

  42. Jeray Peterson

    Dont be dumb danielle, the dark skinned latinos from those countries are descended from african slaves just like WE were, matter of fact theyre ancestors were brought over FIRST!! so dont try to differentiate, you sound like a racist AND someone who has a problem with light skinned blacks. Get a clue. Zoe saldana was chosen because she passed the screen test it wasnt handed to her. So getting on board with the hollywood whitewash thing will never stopped ever since dark skinned blacks cried foul when halle berry got an oscar. what did people like YOU say? ooooh well…shes HALF WHITE!!! grow up danielle.

  43. Andrea Jackson

    I would just like to say that this petition makes no sense. Black people comes in all different shades and colors and many African American actors and actresses have played characters who were a different shade than they were. For example, Denzel Washington played Malcolm X and Malcolm X was a light skinned Black man and Angela Bassett played Tina Turner and Tina Turner is light skinned and Angela is dark. Also Angela played Rosa Parks who was also another light skinned activist. So I just do not understand why when a light skinned Black plays a dark skinned person, it becomes an uproar. I wonder why there hasn't been a petition to protest the new Cleopatra film that stars a White woman, Angelina Jolie. Now that is a serious race issue, not a Black Latina, Zoe Saldana portraying a Black American, Nina Simone.

  44. Brandon Laster

    Melody, tell your friends to lighten up… Damnit I did it again. I was just having some light hearted fun….oh boy I stepped right in that one. I should just turn out the lights and go to bed…what? I didn't say it that time.

  45. Nathalie Hyppolite

    She does not say she is black she says that she is Dominican. Tell a Dominican person that they are black see what they tell you. I have nothing against her as an actress, but hollywood and genres like it like to put the dark skin girl to the side. I suppose it would be ok for a black woman to play Selena then. Do you see how your point is mute.

  46. Ninos Jando

    Has anyone thought for a second that maybe the other "suggested" women, who look nothing like Nina Simone either, might be attached to other films? Simone's daughter is just raw because she had zero input in the making of the film, and it focuses on Simone's earlier years with a controversial subplot.

  47. Ninos Jando

    I thought we've reached the point in society when any person would be able to play any race, and are selected for their talents and chemistry on the set. Apparently I was wrong.

  48. Anonymous

    Danielle Goodwin : "dark skinned Latina"? What are you talking about?? I have lived my entire life fighting NOT to feel as if I have to choose between my parents, a mother who was a "sister", and a father, 1st Generation Costa Rican, born in this country. I grew up with school forms that made me have to choose one race, and one race only, which is a laugh, seeing I look mostly like my mother, so THEY chose for me, with no input from me or regard for my feelings. I always and continue to consider myself PROUDLY BOTH. Her parents are Puerto Rican and Dominican, and just like Costa Ricans, both are a mixed race. Having said that, however, they have the RIGHT to identify with whatever race they choose, regardless of any "label" WE try to pin on them. We shall overcome….indeed. Meanwhile, I'm apparently still waiting……..

  49. Julie Farone Glover

    Are we forgetting all the makeup that was plastered on white actors to make them look like Native Americans in the old westerns? If it's her skin that is really the issue here, use makeup. Otherwise shut your holes and cast her–she is a lovely talented actress that would do Ms Simone deserved justice!

  50. Ramon Jones

    Some "black" people posting about this issue re just as racist as the ones who supported the Jim Crow laws during the eary 60's. There are specially trained people that help actors/actresses called make-up artists. They help actors/actresses look the part of the charactors they are partraying. And by the way, every "black" person in this world do not use the word "black". That's mainly a word used in the USA. People with a darker range of color use other terms to identify themselves, like their cultural, ethnical, or political background.

  51. Anonymous

    I remember people being outraged about Lou Gossett Jr. portraying Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Jeffrey Wright playing a Dominican thug in Shaft and Sir Laurence Olivier as Othello. Casting in films is mostly about MONEY not ethnic accuracy of the actor. One of the best choices to play Nina Simone would be India.Arie or the young lady who plays Michonne in The Walking Dead.

  52. Anonymous

    Ninos Jando , you are not alone. I grew up believing that society who be more sophisticated at this point in time. Race and skin color just seems to be those constipated issues people hang on to.

  53. Rue Meka Uba

    Touche over here. Cant wait for the day Donald Glover plays Spiderman.

  54. Rue Meka Uba

    I'd personally like to see Gabrielle union. She is very talented and the first one that appeared into my mind.

  55. Rue Meka Uba

    Hahahahaha. Billy Person hilarious. Daniel Adams however is the real clown.

  56. Todd Anders

    so much questioning over Zoe's authenticity of being black. I dont see the same vitriole over Obama who is not authenitcally black but a zebra. Whoopi in the role? that would really repel audiences.

  57. Picandra Elzie

    I like Zoe Saldana….the only problem I have is that the director and producer did not consult with Nina Simone's daughter on her approval..I mean if it was my mother, I definately wouldn't want just ANYBODY portraying her….If the folks behind the project are not cooperating with Simone's daughter on her mom's portrayal, then how in the world can we actually trust this film as being accurate? Also, has Saldana contacted Simone's daughter herself? Perhaps Nina Simone's daugher should file a lawsuit!

  58. Aleta E. Staton

    There may not have been an argument if Nina had not written songs about her physical appearance and its affect on her life. This was central to her artistry, and should not be disregarded in casting the actor to portray her. Why cosmetically adjust an actor when people like Whoopie are available and already given the blessing by the woman herslf? Why do you think she wanted Whoopie to portray her?

  59. Michelle Levia

    Because its bigger than that, and its not that simple, this is the problem with Hollywood, its very limited on what they allow a Black female actress to do, they're hardly in mainstream, and its like a select few that get the exposure that others deserve as well ,

  60. Melvin Moore

    that is exactly what "acting" is playing a character far remove from yourself…you could get an actress that looked like simone and absolutely sucks….give zoe a try you don't even know how she handles it yet…she could possibly play nina simone very well….everything is an issue these days….you can't tell someone who to put in their movie, they made their choice, deal with it….this petition will be laughed off….

  61. Melvin Moore

    Ninos Jando , you know you would never see a black actor playing white, that would never be tolerated…

  62. Alexander Cummings

    Stop hatin. I can't stand when black people feel that light skinned blacks are not Afro centric

  63. Straus Davis

    Personally, isn't it up to the producers of the movie to decide whom they want as lead actress! The investors in this venture, want it to make money. This is what it is all about. To suggest that the color of ones skin, should be the only criteria, is ridiculous. Zoe's skin complexion isn't the issue here, I fear it is about much more. I am reminded of what happened when Diana Ross was chosen to protrayed the late great Billie Holiday. She can't sing, she has never acted before, she is too skinny, she is a pop singer, etc. etc. etc. The list could go on. The people who are commenting on this subject, do not have one cent invested in this venture. However, they are full of opinionated, disrespectful comments. Give Zoe a chance. As with Diana Ross, she might surprise you. There is one thing she has going for her, that Diana Ross didn't. She has acted before, let's see if she has the vocals as well. It is a sort of reverse thing going on here.

  64. Straus Davis

    TaMeisha Buchanan, a lighter skinned white person, playing a tan actor, has been done decades ago. In Show Boat, Ava Gardner, played the main character, and Lena Horne, who had done the role in, "Till The Clouds Rolls By", was not given the movie role, rather Lena Horne did the singing, and Ava played the role….

  65. Johnny Wade

    Ninos Jando , In a perfect world, your idea of any race playing a certain actor or actress would be ideal. If you are the best actress in the casting then the role should be yours. However you fail to realize a staggering truth which is that we do not live in a perfect world. We live in one where 98% of all roles for people of color misrepresent them in some way. A person of African Ancestry would never be allowed in Hollywood to play a white role such as Marilyn Monroe. If a mention of having Saldana play Marilyn, you would see WW3 set off. There's always been tension with the light & dark skinned issue in the African American community which was of course created by white Americans from the days of slavery. Light skinned was perceived as better because it was the closest you could get to white, while dark was perceived negatively. Nina Simone was a beautiful revolutionary woman who had to struggle because of the color of her skin, not to pass away and have that same ideology of her color be misrepresented by a fair complected woman who doesn't even want to identify with her African Heritage. Refer to Essence magazine, Saldana considers herself a Latina and she could not properly identify with the African American struggles that people of color face with in the industry. In fact the whole article that came out several years ago of her made it appear as if she barely wanted to cover the issue of her African Heritage. She proclaimed to be Latina. That's cool because that's who she is, funny how she's quick however, to take roles that were written for powerful, strong African women when in reality she wants to shy away from her African Roots.

  66. Rochelle Wade

    To me it's not right to say have a black woman who is one of the best actresses out there, to be able to Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. How can you portray someone's life correctly when you're so far off on who that person is. Would it be acceptable for my 6'5 Black/Hispanic cousin play as President George Bush or any other president that isn't Obama (he's about Obama's complexion). The idea is to stay true to the actual person you are making the movie about. In this case they are not staying true to the person they wish to portray. Her music was about her life living as a dark skinned person and how she felt about it. That should be respected.

  67. Rochelle Wade

    And it's not to knock Zoe at all. I love her movies. I just think the casting directors should've stayed more true to who Ms. Simone was.

  68. Lence Correthers

    I've never respected Zoe although she's very attractive. Everything that happens is in a social, political context. Zoe always seems to be wondering "how many White men must she sleep with per movie before she wins an Oscar. Or maybe she thinks: "Berry was a good Blk whore in Monsters ball so where is my darn Oscar! " lol. Now, Latinos( Blk Spanish speakers) generally have not sympathized or identify with our African American heritage or struggle but they are quick to identify when it benefits them. So no, I don't have an open door policy just because of skin tone. You can be very European centered, Pro-European and anti-Black but be Blacker than ten mid-nights. Ummmm I'll go with a big No to "Zoe the Hoe". I'm sorry but it's what she represents that sickens me. I see how they use her and how they used Berry but if you're confused about your history they will have you doing porno and eating doo doo. And Blacks will applaud and call it great acting. Or “it's just acting”. Negroes are slow! Get an actress who not only looks like Nina but understands and IDENTIFIES with that time, that woman, and oh! who can also act. But I won't expect it, because no people are respected who put their image, their entertainment, in the hands of another people. To hell with Hollywood!

  69. Lence Correthers

    Hey Flores. I agree with what you're saying but i will also add something. Denzel got away with that because Light skinned Blacks are never allowed to complain about shade supremacy. It's very irritating. On one hand many Black woman will complain about Zoe being too light, or that some Black men only want light skinned woman and turn right around and make Shade supremist statements like " Oh i only like dark men", They are ice cold when giving it out but it's unfair when it's dished out to them. Don't complain about racism when you're not even aware of how you're putting down Black men of a lighter shade. If you're gonna participate in discriminating against your own people, shut your damn trap when it back fires!

  70. Lence Correthers

    Maybe Hollywood has a problem having a actress with strong African features playing such a powerful, beautiful role. Yes, Denzel was dark but his nose was keen unlike Malcolms. Angela Basset also has that symmetrical facial thing going on. Also it might be what Many Black people feel about Zoe. It's been said in many Circles that Zoe represents the White mans play thing. So it was shocking i guess to take a role like this. Yeah. Also, come on, all of the Black actresses we have? Are they catering to the White beauty standard aesthetic?

  71. Lence Correthers

    Zoe is actually starring in a movie where she's not the White mans sexual play thing? Seriously?

    lol. As far as her playing Nina, I'm sure there are loads of Dark skinned talented actresses with strong African features that can do a phenomenal job. My question is why Zoe? "Hot" as they say, has nothing to do with Nina; a powerful, wholesome, soulful legend. How often do Latinos listen to our music from that era? How often do they often even inquire about it? Zoe should just respectfully turn it down.

  72. Melody Laster

    Cousin! These aren't my friends, these are people on the comment thread b/c I got it from a news site online. I don't know these folks, BUT I agree w/my girl Danielle- I like Zoe, but she was miscast. However, you strangers..get off my cousin's back! LOL

  73. Melody Laster

    @Daniel Adams – that ridiculous comment lets me know you have no idea the social or political history or intricacies of being African-American. Also, it's just common sense to cast according to looks, mannerisms, etc. There are lots of people of all ethnicities in jail. The reason we may have a disproportional representation there is another conversation. Also, in the end, we DO care, and the choices people make are their own. Gimme a break guy.

  74. Melody Laster

    @Todd Anders…I don't Q her ethnic authenticity. I just think they could have cast better and considered her family's suggestions.

  75. Andrea Jackson

    When I first saw Zoe, I did not think she looked White at all. She looked like an average Black woman and most Black films are given to our people with African features. I havent seen many Black actors with small lips and low cheek bones and flat chests, etc. All of these actors have high cheep bones and lips and brown skin. I havent seen many White looking African Americans playing many roles. Even Halle who is Biracial has caramel colored skin and when she played the role of Queen in Alex Haley's film, the directors lightened her skin to make her look more like the role she was playing. I didn't hear many people complain on that, but when Zoe darkens her skin to play Nina, then all these uproars appears. Makes no sense.

  76. Chels Kilborn

    I think people are missing the point completely. I'm a fan of Zoe Saldana, but I am also a fan of Ms. Simone. If nothing else, casting a light skinned actress to play her then having said actress don black face (because that is, in fact, what they are doing) completely disregards & disrespects the legacy of Ms. Simone. Unless the writers of the script are going to edit out the fact that Nina Simone was blatantly proud of her wide nose & thick lips, unless they seek to completely disregard her stance on blackface in Hollywood & the stereotype of light skinned actors being seen as "better", they are looking to completely contradict themselves. & if they do not, they are going against everything she held dear. It's a lose lose situation however you spin it. How can you produce an accurate biopic of someone if, in said biopic, you basically say "Yeah we know what you stood for but fuck that, this is Hollywood." Regardless, I will not be supporting this film & I urge others, especially African Americans, to think a while on what they are supporting… On exactly what casting Saldana (or any actress that does not fit the aesthetic of Nina Simone) says about the regard producers have for the legacy this film sets out to portray.

  77. Niles P. Cavanaugh

    This movie and everything about it is already horrible.

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