Zoe Saldana Defends Choice To Play Nina Simone But Is It Justified?

nina227Earlier last year, news broke of Zoe Saldana being chosen to play the role of jazz legend and activist, Nina Simone. Saldana, who is of African American and Dominican heritage, has finally spoken out about her choice to take the role. In an interview with Hip Hollywood the actress said, “I guess what kept me from being hurt by the negative comments was that I’m doing it for my sisters and my brothers, and I don’t care who tells me I’m not this or I’m not that. I know who I am, and I know what Nina Simone means to me.” She went on to say. “I did it all out of love for my people and my pride of being a black woman and a Latina woman and an American woman and that’s my truth.”

Like every other actress out there, it is true that you are only good and relevant as your last role, but Saldana has a voice in this industry that many females do not. Her acting credits have agents, directors, and producers call her for parts. So it is safe to say that she is not struggling to get parts. It is also safe to say that she has the option of turning down roles that she does not fit the mold of.

While it is understandable that she would be honored to play the role of someone like Nina Simone, Simone was of a darker hue than Saldana and fought tirelessly for the rights all women, especially black women of a darker persuasion. During the civil rights movement she tireless used her music to influences the masses, with songs like “Mississippi G-dd**”, “Four Women”, To Be Young Gifted And Black” , and many others. The outrage of fellow actors and fans is not all together directed towards Zoe Saldana but more towards the producers of this film, who have totally disregarded the legacy of Simone and the wishes of her family. I

If you have seen recent pictures of Saldana , on set, with a prosthetic nose and her skin darkened, you would understand why it is a direct slap in the face to the legacy of Simone and why Saldana should be offended by the director’s choice to basically put her in blackface. If you have to do all of that, then why not hire someone who actually fits the mode? It is apparent that Hollywood still has a problem with viewing dark women as beautiful.

Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City.

Follow @asalovechild







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  2. In my opinion, Zoe Saldana does not have enuf
    meat or soul to play High Priestess of Soul, Nina.
    A better choice would have been the Chocolate Sista
    India Irie because she resembles Nina and has the
    same neo-soul consciousness that Ms. Simone had.
    Zoe on the otherhand, should stick to her token
    roles and chasing white boyz like Bradley Cooper.

  3. How in the hell does Saldana know anything about Nina Simone. She wasn’t even born! Apparently she’s trying to stay relevant or need the money. This article is absolutely correct. If they (producers) wanted to truly honor Nina Simone they could have chosen a more “seasoned” actress and included Nina Simone’s daughter in the process, etc. Saldana is kissing a lot of ass in Hollywood. period-dot.

  4. No slight to you Ms. Saldana but for real in Jew-white hollywood it’s already to the place where these crackers can go back in time and represent black people the way they want to. After all they are spending the money and no black filmmaker is doing what they are. It’s just like that white model being put in black face and these crackers give her a cover shot as an “African Queen”. The devil is a lie and he even works in hollywood still, don’t you know that?

  5. Saldana states she knows who she is, well so do I. For the love of Ivory, I can’t see how she was selected. If someone had said to me I will give you a million dollars to tell me who was selected to portray Nina Simone and you have 5 picks Ms. Saldana would not have been one, no disrespect intended. It’s ironic that we are talking race, because Nina transcended race just go to one of here concert, she was truly a spiritual being. With that said, the art (movie) I believe will not imitate the life of such an iconic person.

  6. I like Zoe but i think she flip flops back and forth as to her ethnicity. It’s been done before, she’s not the first. She looks like a black woman regardless of what she calls herself. Hollywood’s motive is money – whose the biggest box office draw. While there are certainly black women of darker hue who may more closely resemble the singer – the studio can select whomever they want – if anyone does not like their selection, you can more appropriately display your displeasure by not seeing the movie. You can also get a petition going and send it to the studio that’s making the movie – boycott it! The dollar bill is the bottom line – who’s the biggest box office draw!
    For me, i really don’t care and do not think it an insult or slight to my blackness if Zoe portrays this role on screen.

  7. Don,t care for Zoe Saldana and don,t care for her movies either.

  8. If the white producers and executives of this film thought they could get away with it they would have cast a white actress in black face for the part. The problem is blacks in the industry are to scared to speak up even when it comes to speaking up about the arrogance of actress Zoe Saldana. I remember when Angelina Joline arrogantly blackened her face for the role in A Mighty Heart to play a bi-racial woman. Even though the real person she was portraying said Joline was her choice she should not have been selected to play that role.