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Zoe Saldana was a Terrible Choice to Play Nina Simone

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


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.

To add insult to injury, they 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

Girl, BYE!

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


Update: THREE YEARS LATER (March 1, 2016), they drop the release date for this film (April 22, 2016). NO THANK YOU. They shoulda deaded it and just silently let it fall by the wayside. Because: NO. But here they are, proving that Team Bad Decisions will always have core members.

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  1. Joy n L.A.
    October 27, 2012 at 12:14 am

    “…talmbout TA DA!”

    I SWEAR…you…girrrlll. Jesus.

    • October 27, 2012 at 12:29 am

      LOLLL I’m just saying. Were they proud of that wig?

      • Sarah
        May 16, 2014 at 9:50 am

        Or that wrap in that last pic. This is the worst decision ever! Can’t say I’m crazy about Saldana’s acting anyway, and this pic is about a woman people don’t know, should know, and now will know from this??? You go knock on the director’s door, I’ll be in the alley to help you out.

        • Carita
          May 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm

          SHE (ZOE) is NOT the ONE. THERE are so many other talented actresses: Jenifer Hudson, can SING, and could “work” the part of NINA. I Love Ms. Simone. I know she is NOT pleased with this portrayal of her life.

          THAT MAKEUp on Zoe looks like mud. These producers really don’t give a s*** about Nina, or her ACTIVISM, not to mention her talent…Let’s see how Zoe sings “Old Jim Crow”…or “BALTIMORE”…caN ZOE even play any instruments? Nina is a musician, and OUR Sister SONGSTRESS, not to mention our “QUEEN MOTHER”…..Zoe can play Lorraine Hansberry, Best FRIEND, to Nina. Young, Gifted, and Black” is Hansberry’s autobiography, and Nina says Hanberry’s title inspired the song. They were close as sisters,…best friends.

        • Kimberly
          March 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm

          She could play the stuffing out of Lorraine Hansberry. Yes!

    • Gee
      March 1, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      My mamma used to say if you mad scratch your ass and get glad. Aun’t NUTHIN good gon come out of this mess!

  2. October 27, 2012 at 12:17 am

    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!

    • October 27, 2012 at 12:30 am

      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.

      • May 16, 2014 at 2:51 am

        I would have picked India Arie for the part.

    • Nathan
      March 3, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Nina Simone did not write “I Put a Spell on You”, Screamin Jay Hawkins did, a full decade before Nina performed it.

      I like how everyone is flippin out about Zoe Saldana getting the part when it was originally going to be Mary J Blige.. A woman who is just as light skinned as Saldana, and in my opinion, prettier in the face than Saldana and has ben sporting blonde hair for the better part of 15 years.. Nobody had a problem with her getting the part, but everyone has a problem with Saldana – not because of how she portrays Nina – but because of her looks/skin tone.

      Ain’t that a bitch?

  3. milaxx
    October 27, 2012 at 12:18 am

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

    • October 27, 2012 at 12:32 am

      Surely is. Wackadocious.

    • legitimate_soul
      October 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      Co-sign. Cosign the post and this comment.

      • Eric
        May 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm

        Get over it! Seems like the author of this article is colorstruck!!! Just scorned!!!! Really…..!

        • Carita
          May 17, 2014 at 8:04 pm

          …YOU DON’T KNOW ‘BOUT NINA!….OBVIOUSLY…”color-stuck” has nothing to do with this. AN incorrect portrayal of one of OUR most TALENTED SISTERS….Look into Nina’s background,…HOW she became who she is…TALENTED from the CORE…piano, voice lessons were a-typical, for a beautiful woman of color, like Nina. But she KNEW she had talent and didn’t let anything, even “racism” stand in her way. Her anthology album has vocal recordings of her telling “herstory”….Zoe just won’t do.(she could be Lorraine (bougie) Hansberry, who recounts how her parents had her wear her “white rabbit fur-coat” to school, and other children threw mud on the coat. Her family was affluent..father was a banker, (and I believe her Mom was a teacher).

    • Dynamite
      May 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      This is also an insult to Black Hollywood, Black people, makeup artists, facial expressions, film, and headscarves…

      • K.O
        March 1, 2016 at 4:14 pm

        I caaaaaan’t this comment! I’m down !

      • Norma
        March 3, 2016 at 6:10 pm

        Lol…killing me!

  4. F_Mlicious
    October 27, 2012 at 12:20 am

    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

    • October 27, 2012 at 12:33 am

      J-Hud as Winnie Mandela and Terrence Howard as Nelson is STILL the dumbest thing I’ve heard for biopic choices. Did that movie come out yet? It’s been delayed for a minute. Prolly for good reason.

      • F_Mlicious
        October 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm

        Lol apparently it’s undergoing changes; TD Jakes might be an executive producer. All I know is that it has a 4.8 rating on IMDB

      • Dawn
        October 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

        Please tell me you’re making that up.

      • Yolanda
        May 15, 2014 at 11:14 am

        The movie Winnie was released and its actually available on Netflix, you can watch it instantly. I agree with you, I don’t thing Zoe was a good choice for this.

  5. Joy n L.A.
    October 27, 2012 at 12:20 am

    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.)

    • October 27, 2012 at 12:33 am

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

      • Rosalind Taylor
        October 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm

        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
      November 2, 2012 at 11:29 am


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

    • May 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Rolling @post and Joy n La…..not sure what GTFOHWTBS was until I typed it…you are a mess…toothpicks.

  6. Monica H
    October 27, 2012 at 12:21 am

    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.

    • October 27, 2012 at 12:34 am

      Kimberly Elise as Nina Simone? NAWL, dawg. That strong struggle cry that Kimberly does in every movie might be good here but nawl.

      • Tiffany A
        October 27, 2012 at 12:58 am

        “strong struggle cry” SHUT THE DOOR!!!! LMAO

        • October 27, 2012 at 11:41 am

          *closes the door gently*

        • May 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm

          Luvvie…you need to slam that damb door

      • Monique
        October 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm

        LOL!!! But ain’t nobody messin’ w/ Angela Bassett’s strong struggle cry though.

  7. Ambar
    October 27, 2012 at 12:26 am

    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.

    • October 27, 2012 at 12:29 am

      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
        October 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

        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.

        • paintgurl40
          October 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm

          what did she say?

  8. Margaret
    October 27, 2012 at 12:28 am

    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

    • October 27, 2012 at 11:42 am

      It’s just a terrible choice.

    • Olivia Olivia
      November 11, 2012 at 7:55 am

      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.

      • Dannie Faye
        May 15, 2014 at 11:58 am

        Ma’am, please calm down. “Columbiana” is referring to the name of the film Zoe Saldana starred in in 2011.

      • MM
        May 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm


      • Korey
        May 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm

        GOD is black! Why don’t you do some research on the origin of Christianity. Find the oldest church in the world. What color were the images of Jesus? The bible was written in Africa. I could keep going.

      • Carita
        May 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm

        NO!…Olivia, YOU are CONFUSED…about WHO NINA REALLY IS. She damn-near risked her young life in order to realize her dreams….getting assaulted/harassed by people who didn’t think she “belonged” on the side of “the tracks” where she walked DAILY (at risk) on her way to piano lessons….Get REAL, and STOP acting like racism is a thing of the past. The MOVIE will NOT portray the NINA WE (her people) LOVE.. YOU, OLIVIA are, deaf, dumb, and BLIND to the real world….where, in realty, ain’t a dammed thing changed….except people of color (NEGROES) get to VOTE…once in a while, it makes a difference…like in the last PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION!…y’all STILL pissed off about that….and still complaining. BTW: what is this …you reference…”mock Zoe for being ‘Columbiana’ when she really isn’t”….THAT WASTHE TITLE of the drug-runner movie…Zoe got “TOP BILLING” for her portrayal. YOU REALLY “DON’T KNOW about the Negro race..OR NINA SIMONE. Get LITERATE.

  9. Ms. D
    October 27, 2012 at 12:31 am

    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
      October 27, 2012 at 1:19 am

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

    • October 27, 2012 at 11:43 am

      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
    October 27, 2012 at 12:37 am

    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…

    • October 27, 2012 at 12:39 am

      The wig is a crime.

      • mlaxx
        October 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm

        They coulda got those folks over on Face Off to make a better wig AND makeup. This thing is so bad they even got D level makeup people working on it.

      • May 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        The wig is a crime but that prosthetic nose though? That’s a abomination against everything good in the world.

  11. Tiffany A
    October 27, 2012 at 12:52 am

    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!

    • October 27, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Beyonce had on blackface in Dreamgirls?? Where? I musta missed that.

      Hollywood surely doesn’t care about black folks who aren’t named Tyler Perry.

      • Monique
        October 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm

        Yup… It was a photo shoot scene. Very quick. Easy to miss. But it happened.

  12. October 27, 2012 at 1:25 am


    • October 27, 2012 at 11:45 am

      No mademoiselles either.

  13. Jaz
    October 27, 2012 at 4:09 am

    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

    • joy n L.A.
      October 27, 2012 at 8:48 am

      Nope, your eyes are not deceiving you.That wig. AND BLACKFACE.

    • October 27, 2012 at 11:45 am

      That wig is really and truly laughable. Their hair department fails 2012.

      • SES
        October 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

        Dusty Party City Afro wig. The wig that crazy white girl was running the streets wearing looked better than this ish.

      • Camille
        October 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm

        Pam Grier could go to her attic, pull out an old Foxy Brown wig, run some Afro-Sheen through it and do better than that. That mess fails 1972 hair and make up.

  14. warrior11209
    October 27, 2012 at 5:29 am

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • October 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

      They should scrap the whole thing, honestly.

  15. Michelle
    October 27, 2012 at 6:33 am

    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”.

    • October 27, 2012 at 7:26 am

      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.

      • October 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

        “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
          October 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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

        • October 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm


        • Nikilovely
          October 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

          “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.”

        • Carita
          May 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm

          ….BUT Jeni LOPEZ IS LATINA, and she was GREAT AS Selina,……CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE, was on the money. J-LO was PERFECTLY NOT “MISCAST” as Selena.

    • October 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

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

    • October 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      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
      October 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      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.

      • Carita
        May 17, 2014 at 8:31 pm

        …were her PARENTS or ANY OF her ANCESTORS held, beaten, sold….during slavery days….

        “Do You REmember the DAYS of Slavery…”…”how they beat us….how they worked us so hard?..” by Burning Spear…”how they beat us, how they work us so hard….use us, refuse us…”
        The BIG FAT BOAT….brought Nina’s people to America,…not Zoe’s. She can’t re-live/portray NINA.

    • Carita
      May 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      ….Zoe was(is) WRONG…she can’t even “blow”…or carry a TUNE in a BUCKET.

  16. Natasha
    October 27, 2012 at 8:44 am

    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?!?

    • October 27, 2012 at 11:46 am

      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
      October 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      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
        October 31, 2012 at 11:42 am

        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.
          November 3, 2012 at 7:30 am

          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.


        • Carita
          May 17, 2014 at 8:32 pm

          WELL SAID, JOY in LA.

  17. Jamilah Lemieux
    October 27, 2012 at 9:12 am

    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
      October 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

      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…


      • October 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm

        Nawl, for Zoe even playing Celia Cruz.

        • Aria
          May 16, 2014 at 8:48 am


        • Carita
          May 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm

          Amen…(and WOMEN), Anna Rene!

    • October 27, 2012 at 11:30 am


    • JojoRaze
      October 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      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
    October 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

    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?

    • October 27, 2012 at 11:29 am

      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
        October 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

        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?

      • Carita
        May 17, 2014 at 8:35 pm

        …AMEN, again!….Luvvie. Killer ANALOGY!

  19. politicallyincorrect
    October 27, 2012 at 11:48 am

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

    • DJay
      October 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      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
    October 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    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
      October 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      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
      October 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      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?

      • Tiffany
        October 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm

        Did you just ocmpare James Bond a fictional person to Nina Simone a REAL human being? And an iconic one at that? Surely you jest.

        • October 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm

          Yup. She surely did. O_o

    • Olivia Olivia
      October 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      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….

      • October 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

        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
          October 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm

          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
          October 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm

          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
          October 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm

          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.

        • Sally Strange
          May 15, 2014 at 11:58 am

          Not black enough, Olivia Olivia?


          Projection: it’s not just for movie theaters anymore.

        • May 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm

          Oh Olivia, it has nothing to do with being Black enough. That response was also meant to shut down disagreement with your POV. All rather passive aggressive dear heart.

          And for the record, I am as white and freckled as the Irish countryside and not a single person has ever asked me to move along…

  21. shadgg02
    October 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    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
    October 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    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
    October 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    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
      October 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm

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

      • MonaLisa
        October 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm

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

      • alien
        October 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

        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
          October 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm

          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
          November 2, 2012 at 12:03 am

          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....
          December 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

          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.
        November 3, 2012 at 7:46 am

        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
    October 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    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.

    • October 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      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.

      • October 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm

        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. October 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I think Tika Sumpter would have been a good choice.

    • October 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      I don’t know if she has the depth. We can’t just be putting any dark skin actress to be Nina.

  26. IzzySez
    October 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    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. October 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

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

  28. October 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    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
    October 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    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!

    • paintgurl40
      October 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      and they’ll say she invented the weave instead of the hot comb…

    • October 30, 2012 at 9:58 am

      If you are going to quote me at least use quotation marks. But I happen to agree with myself. Ms. Saldana is wrong for this part.

  30. Will Jones
    October 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    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. […] | Luvvie Three days later and I’m STILL mad! It’s because a new picture of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone has surfaced and it looks even worse than the one I included in my last […]

  32. Hilda Russell
    October 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    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…

  33. jblairbrown
    October 29, 2012 at 8:40 am

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


  34. SavvyMom2
    October 29, 2012 at 9:08 am


    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!

  35. Sadiqua
    October 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

    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.

    • Sally Strange
      May 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      I object to characterizing Hilary Swank’s role in “Boys Don’t Cry” as her being “uglied up.” She was playing a trans man. A rather attractive trans man. She was not ugly–she was presenting as male.

  36. October 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

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

    • January 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      i miss you

  37. […] most Black female actors isn’t hard up for substantial roles. Our friend Luvvie over at Awesomely Luvvie suggests Adepero Oduye for the role of Simone … you know in case an authorized biopic is ever […]

  38. October 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm

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

  39. consultant
    October 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    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.

  40. Misshyperone
    November 18, 2012 at 11:26 am

    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.

    • May 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Yeah and the outrage about Angelina playing Marianne Pearl was justified. It’s the same issue! Why on earth would you choose a white woman to play a Black character when there are so many Black actresses who could have done it?

  41. Jody
    November 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    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.

  42. Sarah
    January 10, 2013 at 8:54 am

    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….

  43. a`
    May 15, 2014 at 11:18 am


  44. Here's Hoping
    May 15, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Denzel wasn’t as light in complexion as Malcolm X but he slayed that role. I am hoping she can channel something that makes up for the Z grade movie sadness they look like they are trying to push. I’m more upset at her voice honestly. Nina has the range and depth of the Earth’s core and this squeaky chipmunk’d heffa is gonna steamroll all over this legends grave chirping through this whole movie….

    I want it to prove me wrong so badly, but I think I am going to have to be part of your drop squad for the casting director.

  45. Nunu Hurt-Doyle
    May 15, 2014 at 11:21 am

    The make-up job is revolting and it looks like they rolled Zoe around in carob powder. Both these ladies are beautiful, but in a different way. What an absolute waste of a story that should be making people fist pump their way into a queue.

  46. Diva
    May 15, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Outside of the skin tone issue, Nina’s family doesn’t approve. That is enough to rethink casting. Nina wanted Whoopi Goldberg, was that explored? Were there any other actresses approached? Did the family even have a say in the casting? These are the questions I am most concerned with. Any biopic that is made of such an iconic artist should be taken seriously enough to consult with, and get a thumbs up with the family. How much respect can be shown in this film for Nina if her own daughter’s opinion isn’t valued. That’s her mother you’re portraying. How can you not care about that? I think if Simone were given an alternate list of actresses they could have come to some type of agreement.

  47. Xio
    May 15, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Hollywood has a way of dropping the ball each and every pass.

    My example is Storm from XMen… Whycome Halley Berry… Have they ever seen Storm? Personally I would have chosen anyone but Halle, not that I don’t like her. But someone strong and dark and beautiful… Grace Jones! Anyone but Halle.

    They chose the least common denominator and “prettiest” option. It’s a bit sickening.

    • a
      May 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      Angela bassett looks like storm or vivica fox, im not knocking giving another actress a shot if their good, but hollywood generally is driven by numbers. The movie may not be targeted for one particular audience so…tis whaat it tis. Im prolly not going to see this i may just read a book. Not to knock zoe but how insulting to have a actress in blackface rather than hire a black actress with a face..#slapintheface she better be real good…

  48. Tracey Salisbury
    May 15, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I think we need to relax on the skin color comparison. That’s another discussion entirely. Yes, Hollywood has color issues, but that’s not my beef in this case. The clear point is the filmmakers on this project are working overtime to make an actress look completely different. And not just a matter of losing or gaining weight, cutting or coloring her hair, but a complete and total makeover in terms of skin color, hair, facial features, everything! And that is just simply ridiculous! Period! If you have to work that hard, the actress is MISCAST!!!! I don’t care if she gives an acting job of a lifetime, the make-up is so bad it’s distracting. And the clear insult is the fact that there were other actresses that fit this part without all of this extra work. The money and time that is being spent on this make-up job is boggling my mind. Adepero Oduye is a good thought but way too young for the part. Nicole Beharie would have been my first choice or Naomie Harris, these women can ACT, make-up or not make-up, but come on, there are plenty of good young black actresses that this role would have been a break of a lifetime. And let’s cut Zoe some slack, I know what she is trying to do, she wants to show she’s a “serious” actress and she jumped at a piece that gives her that chance. It’s unfortunate, because it’s not the right part for her and quite frankly, her talent is limited, this film is only going to prove that.

  49. May 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Yes to each and every word you said. Each exclamation point period and comma. Everything!

  50. May 15, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I applaud Zoe for landing this role.
    However, I’m certain there are other women who actually fit this role in more ways than one. Being the idea of Black Face is used to create the image, I’m a bit understanding as to why the daughter is up in arms about this showing.

    They’ve made Cleopatra a White woman for decades, guess you can make Nina light skinned for a film.

    • a
      May 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      It takes maturity to step aside and say im not the one…hard pill to swallow. But she did land it maybe somewhere somehow shell prove us wrong..#didijustsaythat

  51. lyricaltoye
    May 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Zoe although a horrible choice may be a fan of nina and willing to Play the role because of how much she admire/love nina and on that I can’t blame her but on the fkip side if that playing nina in black face is an egregious assault on who nina was what she symbolizes and how much she meant to little dark skin “nappy head” black girls that grew up with a color complex (like me). It’s utterly unforgivable…Zoe loses huge respect because of it…I know it may be every Nina fan dream to play her but in order to do so don’t compromise the integrity of her legacy….Nina wouldn’t

  52. Court
    May 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I think my issue is just more than skin tone. My issue is that Nina Simone as a person took extreme pride in her looks because she went through extreme pain as a result of her looks. This is a biopic.

    So why make a movie about a woman that takes pride in her skin color by casting someone that doesn’t have that skin color? They are eschewing the very thing that the subject matter takes pride in.

  53. […] mad all over again at the ridiculousness of that casting choice. I’ve already blogged about why Zoe playing Nina was a terrible choice. Of ALLLLL actresses that could have played Nina, they went with Zoe and chose to paint her skin […]

  54. Tamika
    May 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Zoe got the part because Zoe Saldana is a great actress period. The color of her skin is only pissing off dark skin females. Get out your d feelings it’s just acting.

  55. Tamika
    May 15, 2014 at 1:37 pm


    • May 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Did your shift key or CAPS LOCK button break on your keyboard? why are you over here hollering? It doesn’t make your point any more astute so relax. Damb.

  56. Hollie
    May 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    The person who is to blame for this is ZOE! If every idiot in Hollywood said you should do the role her self-respect should have said NO! I gt the roles are often hard to come by but she is doing well right now in her career and she did not need to do this. Did she think that they would transform her and she would get an Oscar? Chick please….you may have set your career back A LOT! Everyday that she sits in a make-up chair and gets that make-up and wig put on should be a day that she is ashamed of herself. Zoe is not even black. She is Dominican and Puerto Rican! We have to stop being mad at the casting directors and producers who just do what they always do and expect people to say NO when they are not right for a role. We can pray that the higher ups finally learn but what better way than by having actors and actresses speak up against the bull. Zoe stopped some more appropriate actress from getting the job. Shame on her!

  57. Bet
    May 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    The whole blackface thing is like pissing on Nina’s grave! Let’s not talk about the prosthetics. This is against everything that this woman was about. I would even take India Arie over Zoe. Her tone is similar and she looks remarkably similar.

    I will not pay a red cent to see this mess, it looks like it is made for lifetime antyway.

    By the beard of Zeus!!!

    • Brandon
      May 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      So before we see how Zoe acts in the movie we put her down. Instead of giving her a chance to play someone that inspires her because she a tad bit lighter than the original character she plays. All the costume stuff i can get. But saying that someone can act the role better than Zoe isnt right especially if this is something that she went through. As a black male this afro centric stuff has to stop. Everyone would have been on fire if they had Angelina Jolie play the role. The pick Zoe because they have these things called auditions that are really cool, The way they work is they actually play the role along with others and the best person gets the role. Understanding that Nina doesnt like the project is one reason not to see it. But because the girl isnt black enough is not.

  58. Gemariah
    May 15, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Being a dumb white girl, I was unable to read your slang spelling. I think it is unfortunate that you exclude us from by thinking we aren’t interested. I love music. I love American history. My parents were educators and it is sad to see how it is getting dumbed down by directing to a very specific group of people.
    Regarding the singer and the film. Regardless of the depth of her color to me is not the issue. The fail makers could have just picked a better actress, better make-up artist, better costumer, better hairstylist. It doesn’t appear that they have set out to make a documentary of her life either hence the lack of facts. There are many bad films out there and we will not watch it and add it to our list of wasted time and effort.
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  59. May 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Who are you Luvvie and how the hell did you become so awesome? This article summed up real real smart like errythang me and some of my fellow Chicago Blacktresses done thought ’bout. Preach.

  60. Vince
    May 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Plenty of actors have played roles in which they do not look like the person they are representing. Jeffrey wright has played Martin Luther King Jr., Muddy Waters, and Basquiat. All of which he did exceptional recreations. IMO, Halle Berry looks nothing like Dorothy dandridge. Leo dicaprio looks nothing like j. Edgar Hoover, or Howard Hughes, or Jordan Belford, anthony Hopkins does not look like nixon, Angela Bassett looks nothing like Tina turner or rosa parks, without the shades on Jamie fox does not look like Ray Charles, Diana Ross does not look like Billie holiday , Lorenz Tate looks nothing like Frankie Lyman, and, trust me, Derek Luke does not look like Antoine fisher. I can say that I’ve seen all of these films. Appreciating the art, it’s interesting to see what each actor brought to peoples’ character, people they never had the pleasure of meeting. All of these movies were great, in part because of the great, wonderfully talented actors involved. I’d be willing to give Zoe a chance as well. I’m sure she realizes the pressure involved with getting this right

    • May 15, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      I wish I had time to read all the replies, but, alas. I don’t. I will say, I am not pro OR con, for the choice of Ms. Saldana playing Ms. Simone. For all I know, she may kill in this role…or, maybe she will suck. But, if you disagree, write a script and cast someone you feel more deserving/fit of/for the role of a legend/pioneer/trailblazer like Nina Simone.

      • May 15, 2014 at 6:52 pm

        …and if I were casting director, I would definitely have given Kimberly Elise a chance to read.

  61. Rampage
    May 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    The bashing of Saldana is sad to see and short-sighted. A Black woman got a lead in a movie and now she is not Black enough? Wow.

  62. LegendInMyOwnMind
    May 16, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Just like crabs in the barrel some of you Afrocentric-types will never be satisfied until you have pulled us all down

    Sidney Poitier and Danny Glover played Thurgood Marshall and I never heard a peep from the peanut gallery.

    • Divine
      May 16, 2014 at 5:24 am

      I was waiting on the arbitrary crab in a barrel nonsense… Took longer than I expected LOL!!

  63. Sheilface
    May 16, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I guess India Arie wasn’t available? That would have been a great casting choice as she can sing, act and do Nina proud a lot more than the choice designated here.

  64. xinnia
    May 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I dont think zoe looks like nina, i also dont think idris alba looks like nelson mandela. Just remember that this is the same industry that has been making remake after remake of the same tired movies for the last 15 years at least. I am not surprised, i didnt pay to see the mandela movie and i wont be paying to see this. As far as zoe’s race goes clearly she is black, she speak spanish, american speak english, none of that has anything to do with our african heritage and every thing to do with our slave heritage. If they had cast her as she is it might have been something id watch, i have no problems with people not looking exactly or even remotly like the peolpe they are portraying but the make up IS offensive and unnecessary. The fact that they felt the need to put her in that make up speaks volumes. Even they see why she bares no resemblance to nina, its just down right insulting to africans of every shade across the Diaspora, we do not all look alike. We are not interchangeable.

  65. Eve Harlowe
    May 16, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    LOL @ Zoe in CLOWN costume…I’m surprised they didn’t get Beyonce to play Nina since big names and money seem to be Hollywood’s only concern. Clearly it’s not making quality films , or casting legitimate actors to fit the roles, particularly biopics like this one. SHAME SHAME SHAME….

  66. Lisa Love
    May 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    This is truly sad. I could name a few actress off the top of my head and if they wanted Whoopi she too old now to play that role but I saw an interview with the actress Desreta Jackson who played young whoopi in The Color Purple is back acting and he has strong acting chops!!!

  67. Leroche
    March 1, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    To paraphrase Ms. Simone…”Hollywood goddamn…”

  68. Molly N. Moss
    March 1, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I’m trying to break into writing for television and movies. I have this TV drama series idea that I keep imagining Jasmine Guy in as the lead, so I contacted her manager and told him about it. He was very nice, and explained to me a sad truth about Hollywood:

    They don’t care who is perfect for the role. They only care about who is hot right now.

    Zoe Saldana is wrong for the role of Nina Simone, I totally agree with you, Luvvie. But she’s hot right now, so Hollywood doesn’t care what we think. 🙁

  69. ASaucyGal
    March 1, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    I think the poor girl’s been a victim of typecasting…you know she played Blue in Avatar…..and played Green in Guardians of the Galaxy. They probably think…”Hey! enough makeup and she could play BLACK!”

  70. LALJ
    March 1, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I’m still cracking up at 1. b. III. !

  71. Marcio M. Menendez
    March 1, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I know Zoe Saldana will be great in this biopic. She is an outstanding actress. What does it matter if you are Afro American or Afro Dominican. She is gorgeous!

  72. Dana
    March 2, 2016 at 11:15 am

    I love me some Zoe Saldana, but this is all the way wrong. Why does Hollywood keep doing this? All this bad casting when they have plenty of other that would do these roles justice. *sigh*

  73. March 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    “feels like blackface a little bit”

    A little bit??? Girl, a lot! Blackface was the first thing I thought of when I saw that horrible photo.

    Wrongy McWongerson, the 9th!!!

  74. Dukie525
    March 2, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    A few observations . . .

    1. I hope the ghost of Nina Simone descends from heaven and haunts everyone who worked on this piece of poo! In fact, the ghost of Nina Simone may already be here . . . and she just sent that tweet!

    2. Who da faq is the makeup artist? In every picture I’ve seen, Zoe is about the same complexion as John Boehner.

    3. With our luck, the academy will nominate Zoe for an Oscar and she’ll win. And then we’ll have to bring Kanye on stage to say “Ah hell nahhh”

  75. Doreenie
    March 3, 2016 at 3:09 am

    This is wrong on soooooo many levels!!! 🙁 when will they learn smh.

  76. […] pictures of Zoe Saldana on the set of “NINA” dropped three years ago and everyone saw the face paint and prosthetic nose that she had to don to bring the character to […]

  77. Norma
    March 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    So much deeper than colorism. We like to throw things in the black issues basket and keep it moving. It’s layers to this thing. Sometimes…just say no. Sometimes it is not the best casting. Sometimes it is just opinion (Like Tyler Perry in Alex Cross…it was just okay. Seriously, but some people thought he did great). Sometimes you want to see a character done right. This is a person who has watched just about every black made movie or movie with a one tenth of a black person because I love us and our stories. It almost hurt (and I am a light skinned woman – lol if that even makes a difference and it doesn’t). I would not even say Mary J. Blige who is not light skinned. Besides if Zoe never claimed Drumline (very Black) she can’t claim Nina. <3

  78. […] Simone. As quickly as it was revealed later that Saldana would certainly be performing the role in makeup to darken her skin and apparently prosthetics to broaden her features, the outrage grew even […]

  79. […] pictures of Zoe Saldana on the set of Nina dropped three years ago and everyone saw the face paint and prosthetic nose that she had to don to bring the character to […]

  80. August 17, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    […] Zoe Saldana was a Terrible Choice to Play Nina Simone […]