Her family and associates are less than happy with the casting choice for 'Nina'.
If there's one thing that never needs to rear its head in Hollywood again, it's blackface. But it seems that no-one told the crew of the new Nina Simone biopic 'Nina', because that's reportedly what they've employed for the lighter skinned leading lady Zoe Saldana.
Zoe Saldana divides opinion over 'Nina' casting
The first poster of the new movie clearly shows the half-Dominican half-Puerto Rican actress with a much darker skintone than usual, not to mention a prosthetic nose, for her role as African-American jazz singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone. And while Saldana may well have been the best casting choice as an actress, the estate of Simone have lashed out at her appearance being, well, all wrong.
Sources told People that the image in the poster was a still from the movie and hadn't been altered to make Saldana appear 'more black', but that still doesn't negate the likely use of make-up and prosthetics.
Saldana took to Twitter to share an inspirational message, but didn't get the response she'd hoped for. '"I'll tell you what freedom is to me- No Fear... I mean really, no fear." #NinaSimone', she wrote.
'Cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life', came the unimpressed response from the Twitter account of Nina Simone's estate. The same account later Tweeted: 'Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now...'
This isn't the first time Simone associates have hit back over the casting choice. Back in 2012, her daughter Lisa Simone Kelly shared her concerns when she discovered that Saldana was being considered for the part. 'My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark. Appearance-wise this is not the best choice', she told the New York Times.
'Nina' is set to be released in movie theaters on April 22nd 2016.
Nina Simone's Twitter Account Also Shared This Video: