Zoe Saldana: AA’s say…HELL NO! You Are Not The Right Choice To Play Nina Simone!




This is the poster for the upcoming biopic on the life of Nina Simone.

As many of you have probably already heard, Zoe Saldana has been chosen to play the legendary singer/activist.  In the movie, Zoe wears a prosthetic nose and dark make-up. Which has upset many in the African American community.

This is just bad politics as far as many in the African American community.  It would be an absolute understatement to say how much this movie has angered many in the African American community, many of whom feel absolutely insulted culturally.

Much of the criticism stems on the reality of Zoe Saldana not being African American–she’s Dominican and Puerto Rican. Also the sting of having a woman of color having to put on dark make-up to play a role of a dark-skinned Black woman, is simply galling.

Zoe Saldana is a light-skinned actress.  And it just seemed ridiculous to pick a woman who needed to be put in dark make-up, when there was an abundance of dark skinned actresses who were available and more than qualified to play the role.  Oh.  I did I mention…that Zoe Saldana’s husband is—ta…da…A WHITE MAN?!?

Many questioned why they couldn’t choose dark-skinned Black actresses to play the role? Kimberly Elise and Viola Davis were the top two choices.  And would have surely gave stand-out performance.



The typical aversion of Hollywood to avoid dark-skinned Black women, opened up a lot of wounds: the typical choice to favor light-skinned actresses, just popped open that cultural can of worms that won’t go away.

The casting controversy was just one.  The second issue that many took to task was the fact of Nina Simone being very proud of her dark-skin, promoting the beauty of dark women like herself; it was just simply wrong and disrespectful to her legacy to have a light-skinned actress play her.

You can’t understand Nina Simone’s life and legacy, unless you take a step back to understand her stance as a dark skinned Black woman.  This fact was inexplicably linked to her life’s projectory, her art, and her politics–and to every single thing that made her bold and fearless to be who she was without apology.

Her daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times and explained how Nina had been treated all of her life because of her dark skin.  Even as a child, she was told that her nose was too big, her skin too dark, and her lips to wide.  She stated that it was important for the world to acknowledge her mother as a classical artist whose dreams weren’t realized because of racism.

Zoe Saldana donning blackface to play a Black woman, is just as insulting as a white person doing it.  Period.

Frankly, ever since the movie was cast, Black people were defiant and resistant to Saldana playing the part.  Although,lauding her talent; some just felt she was the wrong choice. Including, the late singer’s only child, Lisa Simone Kelly.

I don’t want her to play her because of the identity issues that many Black Latino people have…they took colorism to higher levels.

To get into this issue, in and of itself, would be a collegiate discourse indeed.  However, to simplify it, basically, colorism is the preference for lighter skin.  Colorism is a hybrid of racism.  Colorism can happen to people of different races but it can also occur to people of the same race.  Its origins is rooted in White Supremacy, and the hatred inflicted on people of color to the degree, many adopted the sick, pathological behaviors of their masters.

It’s a global problem.

The movie is scheduled for release on April 22, 2016.

It will be interesting indeed to see how the public at large responds.


Here is a French film on the life of Nina Simone:

9 comments on “Zoe Saldana: AA’s say…HELL NO! You Are Not The Right Choice To Play Nina Simone!

  1. nidotopianwarrior says:

    Viola Davis definitely, if you’ve ever watch the Fantasia Barrino biopic she is an incredible vocalist. I also wouldn’t mind Kimberly Elise since it had been ages since we last saw her in anything. Another choice I probably wouldn’t mind is Tika Sumpter. Also another thing I’d like to draw reference to, remember back in 2000 when they were making that X-Men movie, Angela Bassett was originally slated to play the role of Storm but supposedly, she turned it down so they picked Halle Berry instead. Now don’t get me wrong, Halle did a phenomenal job but if you’ve ever followed the comics or even the cartoon adaptations like X-Men Evolution, Storm is depicted as a dark skinned woman with excessive ties to and is firmly rooted in her African Ancestry and culture. Of course in the movies they portrayed her as simply American without any hints of her having any sort of reverence for her African heritage. Not only that, she’s also the most underplayed character.


    • Truthangel07 says:

      When you see strong Black people in images or in media; there is a metaphysical reaction. And white people know this. We are God’s first creation. His spirit is within us. THIS IS WHAT white people are reacting to. His spirit is in contradiction to the evil spirits that control them. The obsession they have with us truly is of a supernatural origin. Many white people practice various occultist religions, including Satanism.


  2. qnubian says:

    Zoey Saldana is a disrespectful opportunist, she used her privilege of light skinned woman, but at the end of the day she is not considered herself a black woman!
    Hollywood has a serious problem with dark skinned women but doesn’t have problems with dark skinned men! The trope here is “But Not Too Black”: leading black characters, particularly females, particularly those with a love story, tend to be played by the light-skinned or mixed-race.
    The thinking is that they appeal more to white audiences – because they are “not too black” – and even to black audiences – because of colourism. You see it more in film and television aimed at whites than at blacks. This is nothing more than the privilege to raise light skinned women, and instead knock down dark skinned women!


    • Truthangel07 says:

      That’s what I stated. However, this movie is going to be a flop. Black people are waking up and are not having it. I think two things are happening to us–1.) We’re being forced to deal with realities that we’ve refused to acknowledge for far too long. 2.) Our enemy is being exposed for what they are and the Creator is making us take a stand. Either you face this enemy and defeat him or continue to allow this enemy to defeat us. This is about a collective spiritual decision that must be made. Whatever the choice, it will impact us for generations. What will be the choice?


      • Truth,I’m not a fan of Zoe Saldana,because like a lot black latinos,they want to deny their blackness.It doesn’t bother me that she’s married to a white man. My mother told me that women like Zoe,Robin Givens, Garcelle Beauvais and Stacey Dash are doing black men a favor by not dating black men.Since my hometown girl Halle Berry is headed for another divorce,I just hope she won’t be paying 20,000 to her soon to be ex-husband like she is to her other baby daddy.But even more important,according to Henry Louis Gates, our culture in Latin America is just as prevalent their as it is here.Mexico’s 2nd President was half-black. The famous San Telmo district in Buenos Aires was first discovered by Blacks after slavery was abolished in Argentina. It was Blacks who created the Tango,not the whites who put their faces on it.All the truths about black people accomplishments are starting to come out now.Stay strong.God bless


      • Truthangel07 says:

        Oh. Of course…Black history is global. And as the Bible says: “All secrets shall be revealed.” We’re seeing that now…


      • qnubian says:

        Choice is, us black women, we must fight to change our image in this racist society, no one else will do for us! In Brazil, women like Nina Simone, are considered as “Mommy”, ugly with nappy hair,fat and too dark, they don’t have a right to be on TV, but in the kitchen!
        Typically the image of black women in Brazil is represented only as a woman of easy virtue, and nothing else! I would like if you watch this documentary about how black women are treated!


      • Truthangel07 says:

        This information is just not coming to the forefront in America but I’ve been aware of how Black people are treated in Brazil and other Latin countries for over 20 years. It is sad, but it’s partially the fault of Black African people in those countries who participated in the bigotry by accepting the negativity of non-African Latinos or those who are light-skinned; and perpetrating self-hatred through acquiescence. They didn’t have a Black Power movement like African Americans did. However, it appears that they are becoming conscious and starting to face much of this behavior.


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