More Uproar Against Zoe Saldana Going In 'Blackface' For 'Nina Simone' Biopic

Amy Feinstein

A controversy about diversity, or a lack thereof, on the heels of #OscarsSoWhite shows no signs of ending now that the movie poster of Zoe Saldana in "blackface" has been unveiled for the Nina Simone biopic. Amongst the parties sharing their opinions is the estate of Nina Simone, namely her daughter, who is appalled that Saldana was "darkened" and wore a fake nose to play her mother.

According to Variety, the estate of singer Nina Simone is slamming Zoe Saldana, and the opinions have gone very public on social media. After Saldana quoted Simone in a tweet, she was shut down by the account for the Nina Simone estate.

"Please take Nina's name out of your mouth. For the rest of your life," the estate tweeted at Saldana's account.

And after that, they tweeted to indicate that there was more to come.

"Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now…"

"Zoë Saldana delivers an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute to Nina Simone," said Johnson, founder and chairman of RLJ Entertainment and founder of BET. "She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent."

Johnson is flipping the complaints around by saying that an actor should never be cast based on color.

"You are a skinny, light skinned, publicly apolitical actress in black face," one person wrote.

Josie Picken, a writer for Ebony Magazine, who is against the casting of Saldana as Nina Simone, believes that Saldana was cast to make the dark-skinned Simone "more palatable" to audiences.

"Quite frankly, we cannot afford the luxury of letting another one of our heroes be recast as some gentler, more digestible version of themselves."

Simone Kelly, Nina Simone's daughter, explains that this is all so unfortunate, because her mother, Nina, was regularly told that her nose was too wide, and her skin was too dark.

"Appearance-wise this is not the best choice."

The movie had many missteps, and Zoe Saldana was cast to replace Mary J. Blige, who left the project.

Will you see Zoe Saldana in the Nina Simone biopic?

[Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images]

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