The official Twitter account Nina Simone has lashed out at Zoe Saldana, who is portraying the iconic singer in the upcoming film Nina by Cynthia Mort, telling her: “Please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life,” after the actress posted a quote from the iconic singer to Twitter.
.@zoesaldana Cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life.
— Nina Simone (@NinaSimoneMusic) March 3, 2016
Saldana responded only by posting the film’s key art to Instagram account, with the caption “…”
While it’s not known who runs the estate’s Twitter account, Simone’s family has previously criticized the choice of Saldana — who uses dark make-up and a prosthetic nose to portray Simone in the movie — as “appearance-wise … not the best choice.”
The controversy has been brewing for a while, but came back into the spotlight when a new trailer and poster for the movie were released on Tuesday, and social media users accused Saldana (who is of mixed Puerto Rican and Dominican descent) of performing in “blackface.” In a 2012 interview with Ebony, Simone Kelly, the singer’s daughter, said that she would rather have seen someone as Viola Davis or Kimberly Elise take on the role. “Both of the actresses that I’ve mentioned are women of colour, are women with beautiful, luscious lips and wide noses, and who know their craft,” Kelly told the magazine. “I also have no problem introducing someone we’ve never heard of before who can play my mother.” In 2013, Saldana said she did not fear the backlash and would “honor and respect my black community because that’s who I am.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.