Lenny Kravitz is slated to play Marvin Gaye in an upcoming biopic, according to The Evening Standard, a London based publication.
The film about one of R&B’s most talented singers is being made by Julien Temple, best known for directing Absolute Beginners and for his films about the Sex Pistols:
It would chart the final years of Gaye’s life in London from 1981, when he was suffering from an addiction to alcohol and an allergy to the taxman, and how he was rescued by music promoter Freddy Cousaert and spirited away to his flat in Ostend, Belgium, to recover.
Already, some are wondering if the casting of Kravitz in the role of Marvin Gaye will spark the same sort of controversy surrounding Nina Simone’s biopic.
Many will remember that Zoe Saldana was cast to play Simone in a biopic, causing many to wonder why a woman who doesn’t bear much resemblance to Simone was cast to play her in a movie.
To many observers, this shows that Hollywood is perpetuating white supremacy by preferring lighter skinned actresses and actors to darker skinned actors, even if the actual person the actor is portraying was darker skinned.
However, this preference for light skin seems to be more pronounced in the selection of black women for roles, with even black rappers and singers choosing light skinned models for their videos. Kravitz is a talented singer, though, so one could argue that he brings much more to the table than Saldana.
What do you think? Was Kravitz a good choice for this role?