Pics of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone are Out and I Say NAWL

[ 114 ] October 27, 2012 |

When I first heard about Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in an unauthorized biopic, I was not pleased. It makes NO sense to me that of every actress of color in Hollywood, Zoe would be the choice to play Nina. Zoe’s cool as an actress and I enjoy her work but nothing about her even remotely resembles Nina Simone. Yes, I get that they can do movie magic blah blah blah. But there are other actresses who would play THE HELL outta that role.

Nina Simone Zoe Saldana


And then Simone Kelly, Nina’s daughter penned a strong letter opposing the movie and I really was like “so what is the point?” If the person closest to the legend doesn’t approve of this flick, why are they doing it? Oh yeah. Money. Just money. Especially since the movie isn’t even gonna be that accurate. Simone put the premise of the film on blast. They’re basically creating the story of this woman’s life without giving a damb as to whether it’s accurate or not.

Sidenote: Follow @NinaSimoneMusic on Twitter. That’s the official account of Nina Simone’s estate and it’s run by her daughter, Simone. It has a verified checkmark and everything. Check out that timeline and you’ll see that she doesn’t support this film.

But to add insult to injury, they go cast Zoe “I pass the paper bag test” Saldana to play a woman who was raised being told that she was too dark and basically too Black. Chile WOMP. Hollywood be on boolsheet and this is one of those times.

Filming has began on the film and pictures have leaked of Zoe on set in costume and it brings ALL the side-eyes to the gahtdamb yard.

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone

Oh, y’all TRIED IT. Girllllll WUT??? O_______O I wanna kick every trashcan in my house for this. Every single one. This picture got my soul trouble for many reasons.

1. They dipped a giant cotton ball in black ink and gingerly placed it on Zoe’s head talmbout TA DA! It’s an afro wig! I’m insulted on behalf of Nina Simone, whose afro was ALWAYS tight and put together! What is this dry ass haircap they got Zoe in? NO MA’AM.

b. Did they use shoe polish on her face? I understand that Zoe is Afro-Latina and all’at but this feels like blackface a little bit. They wouldn’t have to do this if they actually picked an actress around Nina’s skin tone to play her. I’m talmbout folks like Viola Davis. Word is that Nina actually wanted Whoopi Goldberg to play her one day. In what milky way is Zoe the ideal Nina???

And besides them, Adepero Oduye is RIGHT THERE! She would SLAY as Nina Simone. If y’all don’t know who Adepero is, get familiar. She’s the amazing lady in Pariah, and incredibly gifted (and also super nice and down-to-Earth). I met her when I went to LA for the Oscars in February and she is dopeness. She would be perfect as Nina. They even look alike! Like… for real. Look:

Adepero Oduye

Seriously. Adepero was born to play Nina. But they wanna overlook her and pick Zoe as if they had no other choices. WOMPY MCWOMPSON JR.!

III. No country for any of this. NAWL.

Maybe I’m just being a hater but this is a terrible choice, in my opinion. I won’t be supporting this movie. Not just because Zoe’s clearly a bad casting decision, but because Nina Simone’s own daughter is sternly against it for many reasons (and they’re justifiable). They can keep this one.

So what do you think about this casting choice? Will you be watching the film whenever it comes out?

Edit: Another pic came out and now I wanna go knock on the door of the casting director and tell him to come see me outside.

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone Blackface


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Comments (114)

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  1. Joy n L.A. says:

    “…talmbout TA DA!”

    I SWEAR…you…girrrlll. Jesus.

  2. Rissa says:

    I was all up in arms when this decision was first made but got over it not in the sense of “It’s cool.” but in the sense of “Her family isn’t here for it, I’m not here for it, so I’m just going to ignore it.”

    And then I see this and get mad all over again. A mess. A low-budget mess that is NOT fitting for the woman who gave me-excuse me, US- “I Put A Spell On You”. *sigh*

    And dang! Adepero Oduye IS a great casting choice! Maybe someone will be prompted to do a better story and use her because that is an inspired casting!

    • Luvvie says:

      Right? I was over it until I saw these pics too. I’m like “oh you bishes are trying it.” I hope Simone, her daughter, does one biopic of her own. Maybe then, it’ll be accurate of Nina’s life.

  3. milaxx says:

    You said it all. iCan’t with this. They can miss me completely. It’s an insult to Nina and her entire family.

  4. F_Mlicious says:

    No respect at all for her legacy. This is just as bad, if not worse, than the movie the did on Winnie Mandela with Jennifer Hudson. I’m still mad Jill Scott came out in support of Zoe

  5. Joy n L.A. says:

    And to answer your question…
    Someone would have to hold my eyes open with toothpicks for me to watch this travesty. I DON’T CARE how much “training” Colombiana has… she was not put here to play NINA. In BLACKFACE. GTFOHWTBS.
    Yeah I said it!
    (and I actually like Zoe S….but this gets 3 No MA’M’s in earnest.)

    • Luvvie says:

      Yeah the producers of this movie def need to get the hell on w/ the crap.

      • Rosalind Taylor says:

        Itoo Loved Nina samon from what I hear this is a movie miss Simon would disavow. She was a true black Queen, & poet way before her time and something should be done to if not stop this rendition, At lest let those who knew this true woman of grace bring life to this strong black woman & I say fuck Hollywood. She just as mya anjulu, Aretha, Billie Holladay. They can’t be thrown to the money men of Hollywood. I refuse to back this film.

    • Stace says:


      Preach! cause that is sure what this is…A hot damn mess!

  6. Monica H says:

    Nina Simone is one of my all time favorite people. She lived a life worthy of the best screen play with an all star cast.

    This is truly some bullshhhhh!!! Nina Simone is a international ICON and they are truly disrespecting her legacy and must think we are stupid. There is no way in hell they should be proceeding with this movie. I don’t like to wish bad on anyone but I hope this film flops.

    My first choice would have been Kimberly Elise.

  7. Ambar says:

    I understand that actors/actresses will be picked for a part and people will not like it and they should stick to it but there is a difference between that and just straight up taking a role that is a bad choice period and possibly offensive. As an actress (as in she chooses what parts to take) she should have seen how much this would not work and realize that once again Hollywood is only looking to make famous those who are considered “classically” beautiful, skinny and if they must be black they should be light skinned. And yes it IS portraying Blackface. She should have done research and figured out how all of these components do not portray Nina Simone justly, how this could all offend people and how Nina Simone’s own daughter is uncomfortable. Skip the paycheck in order to do the right thing Zoe.

    • Luvvie says:

      Agreed! I actually told one of my girls that and forgot to include it here. It ain’t Zoe’s fault ALLA WAY. She saw a check. But really, if she was bout that life, she’d recognize that this role is not for her.

      • eutopia says:

        The problem here is that it is Zoe’s fault. She had a chance to stand up to white Hollywood and tell them “Look, I’m grateful for the opportunity, but there are many more beautiful, talented black actresses who will fit this role better than I will”.

        I am dark skinned, and this cuts me deep. Its sad that my sisters of my complexion are overlooked for lighter skinned actresses who they just plan on making up in black face and prosthetics. And you wonder why dark skinned people have such complex self identity orders, its because even in our own race some seem to agree were less worthy.

        I may went off on bit of a rant, but damn this really, really upsets me. I will be boycotting every Zoe film from now on, and not just because of this, but as well as her comments about rape.

  8. Margaret says:

    OK now how they got Columbiana playing Nina? And Nina’s daughter is against the project?

    No ma’am. Not in this lifetime will I support this. Icant

    • Luvvie says:

      It’s just a terrible choice.

    • Olivia Olivia says:

      How racist. Is it ok to mock Zoe for being ‘Columbiana’ when she clearly isn’t? But god forbid anyone mock the black people. Do you think every white role is played by somebody racially accurate? Irish, Swedish,English, German all these races are interchangeable when a white person is cast in a role and many more besides. Do you find that racist? And if not, any not? Ask yourselves. And if you really want to contemplate the true ‘confusion’ of races ask yourselves why you worship a god who is a different colour to yourselves. Now that is truly confusion.

  9. Ms. D says:

    It might just be me, but I kinda lost some respect for Zoe because of this (and I really love her as an actress). She HAS to know that a role that would require her to be in BLACKFACE to portray someone who deal with social and institutional RACISM is ALL in bad taste. It’s great that she wanted to play the role, but this is a bio-pic (as unauthorized and inaccurate is it might be) so this is a real life that she will be portraying. Her hands are just as dirty as the producers and writers trying to make a quick dollar off of Nina Simone’s journey.

    • Ambar says:

      Totally and completely agree. Everyone is in the wrong for this tragedy in the making.

    • Luvvie says:

      I’m just wondering what really motivated Zoe to take it. Maybe she wants to be known as a more serious actor. B/c it can’t be the money 100%. Zoe ain’t starving outchea. But truly womp to the entire team behind this.

  10. Michele says:

    So I wasn’t pleased when it was rumored MJB was cast as THE GREAT NINA SIMONE. Then I heard about the Zoe thing and I was over it…then I read Nina Simone’s daughter’s open letter and I was for real over Zoe and and the movie…now I’m all like whatintheentirehell?!?!?!?! That’s the worst wig eva…EVA!!!! Le sigh…

  11. Tiffany A says:

    WOMPY MCWOMPSON JR, the III, and WOMPNESHA!!! That whole picture is a crime!!! Reminds me of the scene in Dreamgirls where Beyonce was in black face. Hollywood don’t give not one good damn about our ebony queens. Unless they are playing someone from the hood or a servant. They are killing me with this. Imma need a nap..Call me when its over!

  12. Tonia says:


  13. Jaz says:

    Nawl. HELL NAWL in fact. I wont be supporting this mess. I love Zoe , but I also believe that the work you do a) has to fit you b) has to make sense personally, ethically, and spiritually ( financially too). I dont think this movie is right for her, and she should have refused the role. I hope she can sleep at night.

    Adepero is Gorgeous.

    Surely I am being punked for that cotton candy wig. Surely my eyes are deceiving me- must be my allergies messing with my vision

  14. warrior11209 says:

    No way, no how am I supporting this flick. Was mad when I first heard the choice and was even madder when I heard that Nina Simone’s daughter was not behind the pic.Now that I see the pictures I am disgusted. Blackface, seems to have made a comeback this year! What the heck? The funky looking wig , the boot polish skin AND she still don’t resemble the late great Nina Simone. How the heck Zoe could even back this film her own self is beyond me.
    The story is a lie, the actress looks like some 1920′s Al Jolson minstrel show- how does this relate to Nina Simone?? With all the actresses in the land of acting that could play Nina Simone , they picked someone who does not resemble her in the least. They would have been better off picking me. But even I would have not said yes.
    I have to go to the gym now to work this out of my system. NAWL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Michelle says:

    Usually in a Hollywood when the Producers are in Pre-production they send the script to different investors to see who will cough up the dough. The investors want a return on the money they would put out. Zoe would get them their money back. It’s rare that an unknown actress would get a shot at a leading role like this one.
    Zoe probably was convinced or figured that she could dig deep in her “serious actress” bag and pull out a career changing performance. Regarding the fact that Simone’s own daughter didn’t approve of the script doesn’t matter to the investors or the production staff. We’ve all heard the saying, “never let the truth get in the way of a good story”.

    • DanielleJ says:

      This is the most reasonable response I have heard to this story so far.

      I understand that people are up in arms about who is playing the role, but they seem to forget the business side of movie making. And as I continue to say: if you don’t like the choice of actress, please create your own film with the actress/storyline of your choice.

      • Luvvie says:

        “And as I continue to say: if you don’t like the choice of actress, please create your own film with the actress/storyline of your choice.”

        Yes, because it’s just THAT easy to make your own film. You negated your own point in the same sentence. The money aspect of the business means to make a film you also need money to do it. We don’t forget the business side of the film. Jennifer Lopez was an unknown when she played Selena, right? Right. They can make it work if they tried. But they didn’t.

        • Monique says:

          BOOM!- Shock-a-locka!!! (Sorry…)

        • Nikilovely says:

          “Jennifer Lopez was an unknown when she played Selena, right? Right. They can make it work if they tried. But they didn’t.”

          I’m extra tardy to the party, but I do have to point out that Hollywood did not “make it work” when they cast Jennifer Lopez in Selena. In the Hispanic community, there was a huge outcry because they’d cast Puerto Rican J-Lo to play the Tejano princess. They don’t just do it to “us.”

    • Luvvie says:

      Yeah. It’s the way it works but we don’t have to like it. That’s why I’m not supporting it.

    • Perhaps they could’ve had a little more insight and predicted that this choice would have such a strong backlash. Then again, maybe they figured the controversy would be good for the film and give it legs.

      Either way, they should just cut the BS and rename the movie:

    • Dawn says:

      I get all that. I think we all do. The point is if you can’t make the picture without defiling her memory do not make it. Her skin color and her African-American identity were integral to who she was as an artist. Her songs were uniquely anthemic, urging black women to love ourselves exactly as we are. This casting choice and subsequent minstrel makeup flies in the face of all that.

  16. Natasha says:

    I agree with you on all points except one,Zoe is Puerto Rican/ Dominican-American, not Afro anything,so wth was she even choice? Who were these other choices?!?

    • Luvvie says:

      Zoe is PR/Dominican and she self-identifies as Afro-Latina. She is within her right to do so. But she’s terrible for this part.

    • milaxx says:

      Dominicans are made up of African/Mulatto/Black/White/Latino and even Asian mix due to the slave trade and it’s usage of many of the Caribbean islands. Zoe is within her right to call herself African-Latino. Nonetheless that does not make her physically the correct person for this role.

      • Said It says:

        Just as African-Americans are made up of African/Mulatto/Black/White/Native Indian/Irish/and even Asian. Please people, egt over yopurselves. You’re no different than a Black Dominican yourselves, just as mixed. A bunch of haters. Over and out.

        • Joy n L.A. says:

          I don’t think anyone’s hating on Zoe’s Blackness. I know my history, as does Luvvie, I’m sure. Zoe’s (whether she identifies or not is beside the point) Afro-Latina because of the blood that runs through her veins. PERIOD. She’s Black.

          That’s not the issue.

          The issue is that bulls*#t wig, blackface make-up, and the producer/director’s utter disregard of the fact that …ZOE AIN’T THE ONE TO PLAY THIS PART.


  17. Jamilah Lemieux says:

    Adepero would have been perfect! I wouldn’t have been mad at an Afro-Latina sister who looked the part. And maybe if Zoe was the Angela Bassett of her generation, I could even understand them taking her through the physical transformation a tiny bit. But Nina was a FORCE. Zoe is cute. Maybe her big “who knew she could do that” role could have been Celia Cruz. But I can’t see her nailing Nina’s intensity at all. And her voice! Even if they use original recordings for the music, her speaking voice was incredibly unique. I can’t see Zoe doing the into to “Mississippi Goddamn” any justice.

    • KMN says:

      YES!!! I never thought about Celia Cruz but you hit that one right on the head. THAT should be the biopic to give her Angela Bassett status…because this tomfoolery right here is NOT it…

      Like others have said she should have been embarrassed that she took this role and I hope that this movie flops worse than Kreayshun’s however you spell her name one ply walgreens tissue status CS she just released. Shame on Zoe and the production team…especially Zoe…


    • Luvvie says:


    • JojoRaze says:

      Thank you for this. So co-sign that Zoe playing Celia Cruz, and Afro-Latina, with an Afro-Latino hubby in Pedro Knight, would have been much better. They wouldn’t have had to darken or lighten her skin to play the role and it would be keeping with Celia’s legacy. All zoe would have had to do was gain 10 lbs and color her hair blonde to do Celia justice.

  18. Olivia Olivia says:

    You make a lot of very valid points and I feel the same about not being into it if her family are not supporting it but surely playing a character sincerely is not just about skin tone and hair type?

    • Luvvie says:

      IT surely isn’t all about skin tone but it’s also about the spirit of the icon they’re playing. Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone is like having Whoopi Goldberg play Dororthy Dandridge.

      • olivia olivia says:

        Lol. I’ll be there with you to roll my eyes if she doesn’t do Nina justice but I’m gonna give her a chance and watch her performance first. Remember how people were talking when Charlize Theron was cast as Aileen Wournos?

  19. politicallyincorrect says:

    Sorry but Adero was not good in Steel Magnolias, she still has more growing as actress to do before this role

    • DJay says:

      I’m going to chalk that up to bad directing because many of the otherwise excellent actors were not all that impressive, with the exception of The Queen and Alfre Woodard.

  20. arlene says:

    As an afro latina, gotta correct a common misconception: zoe is black. She speaks spanish. She has never downgraded her african heritage. She may pass the brown paper bag test here in the USA, but in DR she’s morena – black. Where here in the US a Black is Beautiful campaign of self love and pride of African roots has been going on since since civil rights days, afro latinos have historically been subjugated to horrible living conditions, instiutionalized racism, and general denial of their Africa roots. Why do you think dominicans can straighten hair better than anyone wwith a hot comb?! They’ve been trying to blow the black out of their hair for centuries. The racism Nina had as a dark skinned woman of color struggling in the superficial music business, Zoe has had her own experiences being morena. That’s probably why she chose to accept the part. However, that makeup and that wig are the worser than these college anglos putting on blackface and getting the $5 afro halloween wig.

    • easyBlake says:

      I think Zoe is a bad choice.

      Having admitted that, I have read an article where she speaks about being told shes dark & her nose is too broad. So I believed she relates to nina simon’s experience. & Zoe also considers herslef a badass, tough woman. So I think she chose this part feeling she = Nina spiritually.

      But she’s a Hollywood choice. & this is not box office hit in the making. so, they are getting money where they can, through the talwnt.

    • Olivia Olivia says:

      I think the problem is that black people like white people are just so hung up on colour it becomes all that they can see. There are talks of Idris Elba being the next James Bond. I think he would be great in the role, much better than Daniel Craig. But if that happens I expect to see all you same people getting mad. OK?

    • Olivia Olivia says:

      I think the problem is that black people like white people are just so hung up on colour it becomes all that they can see. There are talks of Idris Elba being the next James Bond. I think he would be great in the role, much better than Daniel Craig. But if that happens I expect to see all you same people getting mad….

      • Luvvie says:

        Not the same thing. James Bond is a fictional character and his story is more about his smoothness and prowess with gadgets than his skin. Nina Simone’s story is partly about how she got where she got living in the skin she did and facing discrimination.

        You just oversimplified the issue to the point where it’s hella condescending.

        • Olivia Olivia says:

          Forgive me if I sound condescending but I am a multi racial actress and if I could only play people of the same heritage or with similar racial physical traits I wouldn’t work a lot so I like to think that I can bring my life experience to a role to make it realistic even if it is not the same exact experience the character has been through and that this integrity will make the viewer forget I am a few shades lighter or pounds heavier. In that respect I think Zoe will definitely have experienced some discrimination for living in her skin (some of the comments here included) and hopefully she brings that to the role of Nina Simone.

          • MonaLisa says:

            Check it. THIS here movie… THIS movie… About Nina Simone… Is NOT an opportunity or proper platform for:

            The Coalition of Black, Latina, Multi-Racial, and I Have Struggles Too..!

            This is NOT your time boo. THIS movie is not the time for you, Zoe, or anyone else with hang-ups about their complexion. THIS is not your opportunity or Zoe’s opportunity to try and prove anyone wrong, to prove your artistic talent, or continuously try and shut other women of color down for not agreeing with this casting choice.

            How dare YOU or anyone else tell Nina’s fans (and apparently FAMILY) how to feel? How dare you ever think that any black woman would be O.K. with seeing this tragedy unfold. You, Zoe, and Hollywood can keep the prosthetic nose, the shoe polish makeup, and that damn Party City wig and set of teeth I keep seeing! I. AM. FLOORED.

            Is that what Hollywood thinks of us? Is that what we really look like to you?! Seriously?! Even worse, did a room full of grown men and women really sit down with photos of Nina Simone sit down and agree that a less than mediocre hair and makeup job would help Zoe pull this off?

            And to make matters even worse, Zoe will not even be paying tribute to Nina by singing her songs. No. Instead, Nina’s own voice will be the soundtrack behind this on-screen mockery.


            Have. A. Seat.

          • Olivia Olivia says:

            It’s cool Mona Lisa, I will be taking a seat, clearly not on this blog since I am obviously not black enough. Just a point though, in an effort to encourage equal opportunities in the arts many traditionally white roles are played by other races especially in the classics like Shakespeare and Dickens. Do I watch these performances all uptight at some dark skinned chick having the cheek to take on a white role? No, actually I enjoy the diversity. (and yes, these characters are often based on or portray real people). So enjoy your small minded racist little world boo.

  21. shadgg02 says:

    first off….my hubby is a Nina Simone STAN and when I showed him this photo, he IMMEDIATELY got pissed! right now, he walking around here muttering and cussing to himself! he don’t know what to do with himself right now.

    iCackled at all of this!! This is too much Hollywood. I mean, first you got Lilo wannabe “Diamonds are Forever” and now Zoe trying to cash in on her half black roots when we all know Nina is “Mother Earth” reincarnate….

  22. MimiLuvs says:

    Before learning about the casing, I didn’t want to go see the biopic because (just like every other Hollywood-sponsored biopics) I knew that there were going to be a lot of alterations to the re-telling of history.

  23. Shaleen says:

    I not down with Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone at all! Especially when she got the nerve to retweet a tweet saying all that commotion about her being cast has Nina is reverse racism. This is when iQuit her! I’m done with Zoe!

    • Olivia Olivia says:

      You’re right, it’s not reverse racism at all, just plain racism.

      • MonaLisa says:

        Clueless. Good luck with your acting career. Air your personal hang-ups somewhere else, because clearly this is over your head Olivia…Olivia.

      • alien says:

        She blacked up like Mantan’s New Millennium Minstrel Show and you are side eying black folks for being upset by it? Yeah, I think you and Zoe need to go to the library together and read a book or 50 about our struggle before you can pretend to be schooling somebody.

        • Olivia Olivia says:

          And about the struggle? Get over it, I have and other races had struggles too. That’ll set the cat amongst the pidgeons or the chickens in this case.

          • Mona Lisa says:

            Awwww… Very good Olivia. But for some reason, I don’t think you see the same bad makeup job, cheap wig, and fake teeth the rest of us see. That’s fine I guess. And I guess the fact that Nina will be portrayed as having a romantic relationship w/ a gay man is o.k. with you too right? Hmm. O.K. Yeah. Anyway. I think we’ve really bonded through this little comment box experience. You take care.

            P.S. I’m reading a book right now called Caucasia. Pretty interesting so far. Although no one has accused you of not being “black” enough on this blog. I’m thinking there’s something deeper going on… And this movie and blog can’t do anything to fix that for you “boo.” In all sincerity… I think you should check it out. Smooches.

          • Jamee B though.... says:

            That’s what I want to know…what does this have to do with Shakespeare or Dickins?? And when there were actors of different races playing those roles were their faces painted white or were they given blue contacts and a blonde wig?? That’s the real problem here Olivia! We have no issue with Zoe’s natural looks, heritage, or race……the problem lies with the blackface, the wig, and the teeth….all the props that were used to MAKE her LOOK like Nina when all of that could have been avoided by just casting a darker skinned woman with more of Nina’s natural features. There are plenty of actresses out the that could slay this role…no blackface needed.
            You said yourself that you were a Black actress so ask yourself this……would you ever condone a movie or take a role where you had to use blackface to make yourself look the part?

      • Joy n L.A. says:

        This is just an honest question. Do you NOT see how this is a problem? Have you SEEN those pictures? This is not about your “effort to encourage equal opportunities in the arts many traditionally white roles are played by other races especially in the classics like Shakespeare and Dickens.” yada yada yada.

        It’s about NINA. NINA SIMONE.
        Do you even know her story?

        I’m beyond frustrated, as is MonaLisa, with folks who say, “It’s just a movie.She’s a good actress. Give it a chance.”
        I.Will.Not. I am offended by the portrayal and the white folks sitting around the production meeting like, “go to Party City, pick up Afro-wig #34, shoe polish #9 and some buck teeth… and we’re good.”

        Like I said before. GTFOHW ALL TBS

  24. naturalista88 says:

    My thing is this: why do a biopic if you’re not gonna actually tell the person’s story? If you wanna tell a romanticized tale involving the person, fine; just don’t call it a biopic.

    • Anna Renee says:

      It’s so stupid! Hollyweird wants to do a story on the life of a woman who held up her head and fought in the face of rejection of her as a black woman.

      • Anna Renee says:

        Then they choose someone who look NOTHING like the person they would never have chosen in real life.
        Then they want the person they chose to CHANGE herself all the way around, and go in blackface, to play the black skinned woman they would never choose in a million years, Zoe thus negates her own identity as an Afro-Latina.
        Then they feed Zoe to the lions of public opinion. Whatever was on her mind when she chose this role, whether ideas of building her career with such a role, money, or whatever, one things for sure: she went in blind and naive, or maybe deaf and dumb. I can only imagine what they filled her head with in deciding to do this horrible role.

        I wonder what Viola Davis thinks about it all?

        In other news, that makeup is sliding down her forehead to the center of her face, and her prostetic nose is looking doughy and overbaked compared to the rest of her face in that picture. Can you imagine closeups on that thing?

  25. RozB says:

    I think Tika Sumpter would have been a good choice.

  26. IzzySez says:

    I’ve heard that Nina Simone was quoted as saying “When I’m dead–get a regal African lady with dark skin to play me, my loves.”
    Regardless, I’m with you Luvvie, Adepero would be the PERFECT choice. I’m so upset about this mess. Even madder that Zoe is cool with doing this. Like seriously, ma? Is the recession that cold? Bradley Cooper can’t break you off nuthin’?

  27. Sheena says:

    They don painted Zoe’s face til she look like a distraught bum. WTH. iCant. BOOLSHEET!!!

  28. Tina says:

    I also think it’s a poor choice and I’m not going to support it – ESPECIALLY since her own daughter is against it AND the fact that they don’t even care if it’s accurate, epic fail I say!

  29. BBS says:

    This goes back biracial Danish actress, Jaqueline Fleming stars as Harriet Tubman in the new movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Zoe Saldana in no way resembles Nina Simone. There are millions of Black actresses out there. Why choose this one? I believe Hollywood seems much more comfortable with women who like her than Black women who look like Jaqueline Fleming.

    The most powerful thing we must do is control our image. And since money is power the first step is to stop supporting entities that want to rewrite our history. The second step is call them out when they do it. And finally the most important step is to create, cultivate and support our own Hollywood. I for one will no longer support our annihilation. Next thing you know the Madame CJ Walker story will be about a White woman from Delta, Louisiana!

  30. Will Jones says:

    Yo. In 250 years history will say Michael Jordan was white. Gotta be careful with how we allow our history to be depicted as they seriously can alter it.

  31. Hilda Russell says:

    You are so right… Zoe is not the right person for that part… her face and her neck are 2 different colors, don’t they see that. Hollywood really don’t have a clue about us… I think they chose Zoe because they think she’ll sell more tickets at the box office than an unknown…

  32. jblairbrown says:

    How could do this to the woman who gave us this????

  33. SavvyMom2 says:


    I keep laughing and thinking with all the gifted Black actresses out there that look like Nina Simone..Hollywood got to go and use “Special Effects” make up to make up a Black woman! PRICELESS!!

    Imagine if Tyler Perry (only because he is popular) decided to direct an unauthorized biography of Evita Peron and put HAIR-DO by Jessica Simpson extentions along with “white make up” on Zoe Saldana! Imagine what the Argentinians would say and do!

  34. Sadiqua says:

    Y’all better do as you say and NOT support this movie…Hollywood loves when pretty girls “ugly up” for movies. *clears throat* Halle in Monsters Ball, Charlize in Monster, Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry…and all three of them won Oscars. If this movie gets more than 3 viewers that say its breathtaking or spectacular, someone is gonna try and nominate her. watch what I say.

  35. Khadijah says:

    No! I already hate this movie and everyone who had anything to do with creating this phuckery. The end

  36. starle says:

    Thank you for writing about this. I have learned a lot, and have a lot to research and look up!

  37. consultant says:

    A picture like this makes no sense. Welcome to Hollywood I guess.

    Nina was a true talent, activist and inspiring figure to many people. Who’s going to see this picture?

    The people who are most mad are the ones who are familiar with her life and like her music. That is NOT most Black people and hardly ANY white people.

    So if you are going to do a picture of a figure like Nina, getting it right in all the details is absolutely important.

    If you piss off the people who care about Nina, what audience is left to see this film?

    Damn! Maybe I could become a Hollywood producer.

  38. Misshyperone says:

    Maybe just maybe…this is a breakout role for Zoe Saldana and she accepts this role, not for money but for the opportunity to push the steretypical roles that she’s accostumed to and challenge her abilities. Although there are other talented actresses, Viola Davis being,one, who seem more fitting…perhaps they didn’t want it or chose to read for the,role. One’s acting ability does not solely lie on their ability to always physically look like the biopic’s character, but should lie within the actor’s ability to channel the person to tell the,story. I am familiar with Nina Simone’s body of work and activism and therefore glad that some of her life will be,captured on ,film and also viewalble to,the mainstream, which may spark greater curiosity of her immeasurable talent. And, I will judge them film on its value rather than Zoe Saldana’s looks. I just dont think actors need to always look,like the characters they portray. Denzel Washington portraying South African activist Steven Biko, etc. If that is the case, and continues to be perpetuated there would be even less dark and fair skin sisters on screen. Didn’t Angelinam Jolie portray Deceased journalist Daniel Pearl’s biracial wife in the film A Mighty Heart? This choice sparked public furor for the obvious because Jolie is fully Caucasian.

  39. Jody says:

    how can you judge how the movie is going to be when you’re just on the sidelines and you haven’t seen the footage.

    Clearly, they went with Zoe because of her star power. She is one of the current “it” actresses with beauty and talent. If there is no star, you won’t have a movie made or distributed easily. it’s as simple as that. Producers and funding people want to sell the movie and Zoe will.

    Give it a chance before you knock it off the shelf. for all you know, she could kill the role despite your make-up/appearance judgements.

  40. Sarah says:

    I think India Arie would’ve been an ideal choice for a number of reasons… I’m not mad at moving on from the MJB choice. Not gonna lie but she’s nobody’s actress. I won’t even comment on the Zoe choice. I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. I know I’m late on this. I hope changes have been made. This is the mess that has a girl putting her dreams on hold….

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