It’s not that Zoe Saldana is a Latina playing the role of legendary singer Nina Simone. Really, it isn’t. Because we all know that Latinas come in all colors and flavors. But its the fact that Hollywood had to go through such troubling lengths to give off the slightest impression that Ms. Saldana is a Blacker than Black singer. From the blackface and prosthetic nose, to her previous lightweight roles, Zoe Saldana neither carries the weight, soul, or appearance of one of the greatest, soul singers of our time. Did they really think that Nina Simone fans would be down with that? Especially when there are dozens of actresses who could tackle the role with aplomb. It says something when even Ms. Simone’s family disapproves!
BET founder Bob Jonson, whose production company is backing this disaster tries to save face by standing behind the casting decision:
Zoe Saldana delivers an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute to Nina Simone. She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent. The most important thing is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness. Quality entertainment should be measured by the sheer force of creativity and the commitment that an actor or actress brings to the performance. We are proud to distribute the film headlined by Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo on April 22, 2016.
We’re not buying it. You’d be 1,000 times better off watching the amazing Netflix documentary instead.