If you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably already know about the Zoe Saldana/Nina Simone “controversy”. Plenty of people weren’t pleased when they found out she was the actress chosen to portray Simone on the big screen. Everyone had an opinion about the casting, and the majority of them being negative.  Issues of  Hollywood whitewashing the movie, colorism, and simply put, “Zoe isn’t dark enough or black enough” to play Simone were the sentiments expressed by many. But now months later, Saldana is speaking out about why she took on the challenge.

”What kept me from getting stressed and being hurt by the negative comments is 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.”

“I did it all for love. Out of love for Nina, my people and who I am and my pride of being a Black woman and a Latina woman and an American woman. That’s my truth.”

She did it for the love, y’all.

 What do you think about Zoe’s response? Is it too little, too late? 

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  • The Other Jess

    I’m glad Zoe told all these fools and is doing what she wants to do, accepting roles she feels comfortable in. She’s Black, beautiful and has the right to play roles written for Black people. There are a lot of ignorant people in this world.

    • SL

      My family (husband and in-laws) are Afro-Latinos. All I can say is what a damn shame.

  • WhatIThink

    Zoe Saldana is doing the role because she is getting paid for it. Period.
    That is no different than any other film she got paid to do.
    For her to suggest that somehow she is doing it because she WANTED to as if she really had a choice in the matter is not even serious. That is just missing the whole entire point.

    This is isn’t about Zoe Saldana. Thisi s about the entertainment industry which has ALWAYS promoted certain features as the ideal and what Nina Simone fought against in her music and career. Nina was a big lipped, big boned dark black woman which did not fit in with the lighter brown thin featured type of black woman preferred by the industry. Dianne Carrol, Eartha Kitt and Lena Horne are good examples of the type of black women the industry preferred. And yes Zoe Saldana fits that mold as well. She does not match the features of Miss Simone and therefore makes it impossible to portray the subject accurately.

    But then again, this assumes that the movie itself is going to focus on Nina Simone and black consciousness. Nine times out of ten it will not and her “features” will most likely be secondary to some other plot devices.

    At the end of the day, this is about who owns the black image in entertainment and clearly black people even now in 2013 still do not OWN their own image or story in American culture.

    THAT is the sad part.

  • mina

    This is the FIRST time I have EVER read anything with her actually saying she is a Black woman! She hints around about her African roots but never really said it outright that she is Afro Latina. Interesting that it just roles off her tongue now that she is doing the Nina movie, or did I miss an article guys? I am a fan; maybe not as much as in the past, but no shade throwing over here, lol!

    • No, you missed an article! She has always said she is a Black woman. I read her saying this a good few years ago because it has always been a topic to people, whether or not she was Black. Check this article- http://lovemyblack.com/zoe-saldana-get-it-straight-i-am-a-black-woman/.

      This was from 2011!

      People make stuff up because they don’t like that she has nice hair, lighter skin, a thinner frame, nose,.facial features.Because she doesn’t look like what people THINK a Black woman should look like she’s not Black? She’s obviously a Black woman! I will say though, that while I don’t fault her for taking the role, I don’t understand why the filmmakers didn’t go for an actress who naturally looks more like Nina Simone. There are other talented actresses who resemble her. Instead they chose to pile on makeup and such. Just doesn’t seem logical. Guess they just wanted a big name. idk.

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