‘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.”

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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.”

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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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REVIEW: RIHANNA LANDS ANOTHER #1

WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK. Well it is obvious to say that it has paid off!

Rihanna’s ‘ANTI’ album has finally been released. Now was it worth the wait? Well with the lead single ‘Work’ already claiming the top 10 chart position in over 20 countries, and ‘Work’ being  Rihanna’s 14th number one single, it’s safe to say that Rihanna’s work is done!

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A sleek, electronic hip hop track designed to be stuck in your head for days. The assisted number by Canadian rapper Drake, represents a chill and tropical vibe the song needed. The two part music video that was recently released didn’t leave much to the imagination, the Barbadian singer flaunted alongside Drake.

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Rihanna is one of the biggest selling artists in the world and has produced 8 albums in 8 years, and her latest album ‘ANTI‘ offers a vision of sensuality that permeates the pop genre. Whilst others have criticised the song as “UNAPOLOGETIC (pardon the pun) black women showing off their heritage where politics are dominated by #BlackLivesMatter.” Nevertheless this doesn’t take away the fact that Rihanna has evolved from just an R&B singer to a global icon.

Keep slaying Rhi Rhi!!

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Using one word, how would you describe Rihanna. Leave your comments below or check out our Instagram page!

Review by Stella Akinwumi, 4th March 2016

Leonardo’s long awaited win!

Finally! The moment has come for actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who after 22 years received the Academy award for Best Actor for his role in the drama The Revenant. This is a profile of his acting career leading up this long awaited moment.

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Born in Los Angeles California, Leo established his career in the US sitcom ‘Growing Pains’ a show centred on family life. However it wasn’t until 1993 Leonardo DiCaprio made his acting debut alongside Robert Di Nero in ‘The Boys Life’ but it was in the drama ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ where he earned his first nomination as best supporting actor. Film critics Janet Maslin stated “The film’s real show stopping turn comes from Mr DiCaprio whose performance has a sharp, desperate intensity from beginning to end”.

At age 22 Leonardo was cast as the lead role in the American adaptation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ where Leonardo’s star status really took off, and who could forgot his iconic portrayal as Jack Dawson in ‘Titanic’. DiCaprio defied his ‘heartthrob’ status by starring in gritty dramas such as ‘The Aviator’ and ‘Shutter Island.

“I have been planted here to be a vessel for acting… that’s why I’m really taking any part, regardless of how complicated it’s going to be”, he said.For 20 years his performances have been nothing short of spectacular which is why his movies have grossed over 2 billion dollars.

From endless wins and nominations, fans all over the world watched as he won best actor at this year’s academy award ceremony. Actors nominated in the same category shared their congratulations, “An award truly deserved by an amazing man” said actor Eddie Redmayne.

By Stella Akinwumi