‘NINA’:Biopic Backlash (Opinion Piece)

A forthcoming biopic about Nina Simone, an American singer songwriter and civil rights activist, has generated a lot of controversy over its casting. American actress Zoe Saldana has been cast as Nina Simone  and in the trailer she is presented in black face and a nose prosthetic. Though Saldana is of Puerto descent, she identifies herself as “half black and half Latina.”

Zoe Saldana                                                                                                     Nina Simone                                   photo taken by http://www.ew.com                                               

Nina Simone was a musical icon in the late 1960’s, a time where her physical attributes were dismissed. ‘To Be Young, Gifted and Black” a song dedicated to the potential of black men and women who haven’t been acknowledged.

Comments made on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter questioned why black actresses with a dark skin complexion were not considered to authentically play this role, like Lupita Nyong’o for example . “Completely insulting” these were one of the comments made by a social media user on the subject.

Nina Simone’s daughter took to Twitter saying, “My mum was raised in a time where she was told her skin was too dark and her nose too wide. Appearance wise this was not the best choice.” Saldana responded with a simple statement saying, “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me, no fear, i mean literally no fear, #NinaSimone.”

photo taken from Zoe Saldana’s twitter account. 

Although people didn’t focus on Saldana’s acting ability, however fans are not convinced she is the right person to represent the nuances of life as a dark skinned black woman.

   (Nina biopic trailer)

Do you think Zoe Saldana should have been cast for the role? Leave a comment below and follow us on Instagram for more entertainment news!

By Stella Akinwumi



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