Zoe Saldana Responds To Backlash Over Upcoming Nina Simone Biopic

Kid Fury February 26, 2013 Cute For You! 70 Comments

When word got out that actress Zoe Saldana was cast as Nina Simone in an upcoming film about the singer’s life, the fur got to flying. Rightfully so as many people (myself included) believe there are more suitable actresses for the role.

Well during a pre-Oscars party this past weekend, Zoe spoke out against the negative reaction to her casting. She says she won’t be phased by the hate because she’s doing it for her sistas…and her brothas.

“What kept me from getting stressed or being hurt by the comments is that I’m doing it for my sisters, I’m doing it for my brothers and I don’t care who tells me that I am not this and I am not that. I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me,” Saldana told HipHollywood.

She continues on to say, “I did it all out of love. Out of love for Nina, out of love for my people and who I am, and my pride of being a Black woman and a Latina woman and an American woman and that’s my truth.”

Well there’s no turning back now. Viewers will have to either accept the movie the way it is or not watch. Zoe is a pretty great actress, so we can hope for the best…but they still should have casted Adepero Oduye. Fight me.

Source: Carlton Jordan


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  • M.J.

    Yeah, Zoe… you still don’t look like Nina though. 

    • entertainmeh

      True, but it wasn’t just the LOOK that bothered me about this film being made. It’s the fact that the movie won’t be accurate. It’s being made to entertain. Not to educate, while being entertaining. And I have a huge issue with that. I want to see an accurate story. That’s why Ninas’ daughter is pissed too…it’s a “story” smh….

      • the molly in chris’ pocket

        EXACTLY!   couldn’t give two holey canadian pesos about zoe, she’s okay at best, but the story is straight bullshit.

  • crissle west

    this is going to be the purest fucking pile of trash.

  • Nikki

    I mean, I guess …

    • Wong Chia Chi

      I know right? That was my reaction.

  • Likkle Miss

    I def agree with you, Fury. Hell, I could name 5 other actresses better suited for the role. However, everyone hurling nasty comments her way on Twitter and so on has misguided anger. No actor would dare to turn down a role like this unless ur at the top of ur game like Meryl Streep or has box office draw like Leo. The fault lies with the casting director, producer and director.

    • Seats

      Enough with the excuse that she needs this role for career advancement. Black people don’t always “need” handouts from white people. It’s a lack of moral backbone that made her jump into this opportunity. Dassit.

      • SeveralSnubsForZoeSalamander

         *runs to the altar to throw the money that folds* PREACH!!!

    • Yep It’s Kwanzaa

      Obviously you haven’t actually heard what the movie is about it is not an actual biopic and can ruin her career more than help it. I think it’s a disgrace to Nina’s memory

  • Jazz

    No she isn’t a bad actress, but that’s not the point. She isn’t the RIGHT actress for this part. There were dozens of other actresses that could have fit the bill ten times better including Anika Noni Rose, Jill Scott, Kimberly Elise, Viola Davis, Alfre Woodard, etc. BUT I do think she gave a very classy response to the hate. Hope she proves us wrong.

  • Maharaja Misty

    I might just do what haters do, and go to the matinee, w/ the most generous discount my AMC stub card can muster, to see this movie. Just so I can put my feet up in this inevitable barren theater, and cackle and hiss @  her awful wigs, and Negro makeup special effects. Same as I did with Madea’s action movie. And she’s singing w/ her OWN voice? This might rise to the comedic levels of ‘N-Secure’. Oh Zoe, I’ll support you sis (-_-)

    • BlairWaldorf2013

      YESSSSS…I was just thinking….Yeah I’ll go only IF I’ve reached by points level for a $10 dollar credit and free admission. I do love those pretzle bits to I’ll make an appearance for them. More than likely, I will take a pass go see the Great Gatsby instead and sneak in for 15mins of the movie to get a laugh. The AMC employees are like my movie cousins so I can do that.

      • Maharaja Misty

        That feeling you get when you get 75% off admission and credited concession food?
        Shit! that’s a high! 

    • Carmen

       I wanna go! LOL love the what haters do comment. true.

  • SeveralSnubsForZoeSalamander

    I swear, I tried to resolve to the fact that maybe Zoe is a great actress, and maybe she deserved the role..but whenever she speaks on it…she disappoints me…just like this shitty ass response…and I’m sorry but darkening your skin with MAC Concealer 6A and using a prosthetic nose is not you doin’ it for the sistas or bruvuhs boo….like, AT ALL. at this point, seats are still available in row ‘bitch please’…you, Zoe..should have one.

  • Jazz

    Sure she’s a great actress, but that’s not the point. She’s not the right actress for the part. Plenty of other actresses could have depicted Nina Simone better. The obvious choices were Anika Noni Rose, Viola Davis, Jill Scott, Kimberly Elise, Alfre Woodard, etc. BUT I do think she delivered a classy response to the criticism. Hopefully she proves us wrong.

  • Young & Pruned
    • Seats

      Not with this GIF. *throws plates*

    • @yeaThtsMyBitch

      I love you for this gif

    • Scarf Junkie


      *Repast at Popeye’s*

  • Earthshaker1217

    I agree with you, Kid Fury. Zoe…angel…I love you and I hope you give an oscar worthy performance.

  • PVel

    When did she become a black woman?! Isn’t she Dominican & Puerto Rican?! Was I misinformed? What sist(ERS) and broth(ERS) girl?

    • Chika, Chile

      she’s black and latina. They are not mutually exclusive. 

    • Maharaja Misty

      Dominican & Puerto Rican are nationalities not ethnicity’s  The African Diaspora extended way beyond the borders of North America. The DR has way more african descendants than all major US states combined. There are indeed ‘Black Latinas’.

      • KidFury

        Why do people still not know this? I’m quite certain I’ve heard even Zoe shy away from the fact that she’s a black woman. A lot of people in the Afro-Latin community refuse to accept that shit.

        • Maharaja Misty

          I blame the public school system, and catsuits for the overall ignorance on the African diaspora. But I’ve actually read a few articles where Zoe has asserted her ‘blackness’. The Afro-Latin community has a complex, much like we do. Even in countries like Brazil where they make up the aggregate of the population, they are constantly marginalized.And rarely accepted by the Latin or Black community.

          • Seats

            People should watch the “Black in Latin American” series, really informative on this topic.

          • bb

            I agree with any argument that cites catsuits as a catalysts for the moral decay of our nation. 

      • anthony hamilton’s white card

        You are right but your language is probably a bit advanced for most. “We was dropped of everywhere” is probably the best way to get your point across— in a basic way.

        • @yeaThtsMyBitch

          even that is advanced. I’d just tell ppl to watch ” the color of friendship ” movie and tell them to note the white girl is African. not only blacks come from Africa.

        • Carmen


        • Yep It’s Kwanzaa

          lmao lawd dead

          I still don’t get why people don’t get that either EVERY major nation went all up and through African collecting people like they were picking fresh veggies at the farmer’s market. Portugal, Spain, French, British, Neuvo British (Americans) etc.

      • Jazz

        But let them tell it, they ain’t black. Smh 

  • Nothing Amigone

    That’s all well and good, boo. But what movie with a big ass prosthetic nose has ever been taken seriously? (And if you say Elephant Man or Patch Adams, I swear ‘fo God…) 

    Now this is really where Keke Palmer’s (misguided) quote about Angela Bassett rocking it as Tina despite not looking like her would have made sense. Welp.

  • Seats

    This is a bullshit excuse and I am begging anyone who reads this comment section to not see this film. Nina Simone’ family doesn’t support it, the storyline is a lie, and the leading lady is a slap in the face. For once let’s not support white people telling our stories in distorted and fabricated manners. 

  • Jessica

    She sounds ignorant here and she’s obviously taking the comments as an attack on her “blackness.” You either fit the character or you don’t and she doesn’t, good actress or not. They basically put her in blackface and threw her on the set.

  • SomeWittyName

    I agree. So many women could have done this role. Like, was Larell too busy loving Jimmy to take on the role?

    • Realtalk

      When I figured it out – I laid down and died all by myself.  YOU ARE A HOT MESS!!

  • Bri

    “I did it all out of love. Out of love for Nina.”
    Yeah, Nina would’ve totally been on board for an actress being painted up in blackface to play her. That would’ve really tickled her fancy.

    • CaramelHottie

      I love your sarcasm! 

  • Sherae Renee’

    You’re not American, Zoe…you’re Dominican.

  • Yea, Right.

    She is the only Dominican that I can stand. And ironically, she’s the only one I’ve met who admits they’re black!

    • FreetutionMakeHerDance

      Love her for that too! 

    • Shellbee

      I’ve met one, but generally speaking the average Dominican is dumb as a bag of rocks.

      • the molly in chris’ pocket

        speaking generally makes YOU a dumbass.  however, its good to know you can recognize and acknowledge your own.

        and yes i’m Dominican. don’t come for me OR insult my Dominican people because its looking like you don’t read folks well, fantasia. call Mr. Fury and get a tutor.

        *puts on shades*

        you’re not ready for it, so i’ma just sit here and drink my tea, girl. my opinion on the topic at hand is above, and ‘Black in Latin America’ is excellent, thank you whoever brought it up!

        • B Washing

          Excuse me while I go find an oxygen tank. This ^ this everything. Go head Molly.

        • Shellbee

          Sorry to hurt your widdow feewings, but after dealing with your people for decades, I can reach no other conclusion. You can go away butthurt, but before you do, explain why y’all continued to vote for and support an openly anit-Black neo-Nazi for the presidency. Self-hating bastards!

      • Yea, Right

        The average Dominican in the Dominican Republic is dumb as rocks. Now unless we are speaking of Dominicans from the DR who managed to sucker some gringo/a into marrying their materialistic, self hating asses, the average Dominican in the US is just like the rest of us as far as education goes.

        The DR is still a developing country (Third World), but I find it so funny that they focus on the material instead of what is tangible…AN EDUCATION! Well, then again, education means nothing to the DR (where’s the 4%?), hence why it’s the dumbest country on this side of the planet (I believe)…definitely last in Latin America, because they don’t value education. They are stuck on old wives tales, weird magic sh*t and skin color. Even Haiti (POOR AS SH*T) managed to rank higher.


  • Rasan8250

    What I want to know is what studio is going to put their name on it.  I nobody is really gonna gamble on this.  Too risky and shortly after D’Jango, black people are kinda gone kinda out there but this is… The people who are real Nina fans who would actually support the film are not gonna go for this.  I don’t blame her totally cause Hollywood do what they wanna do.  It could wind up like when Beyonce’ played Etta James and I was completely against it.  She played that part well told the story as close a possible to was true and in all honesty that is the one she should have gotten awards for. I doubt it but it could happen 0.5 out of 10 but it could happen.

    • ????

      Beyonce sings and is of the lighter shade just like Etta James so it worked but this shit right here is not gonna work

  • BitchIGotQuestionsToo

    Ok so correct me if I’m wrong Nina Simone was a dark skinned black women who could sing like an angel and Zoë Saldana is a light skinned mixed woman who we’ve never even seen carry a tune in a damn bucket. And she doesn’t know why we mad?
    Bitch get out of here that!
    Whether for entertainment or historic purpose you just aren’t that person. I understand its acting but girl you have to fit the part. What if Alex Haley cast.only white people to portrayed his black ancestor kunta kentah??

  • CaramelHottie

    Oh so you’re a black woman now? Because I remember vividly your pretty scrawny ass shooting that down when asked in a interview circa Crossroads if I’m not mistaken. I hate when people are “black” when it’s convenient for ‘em! 

    • Seats

      I wish someone would find a link to one of these interviews where she said she’s not black. I really want that receipt.

      • CaramelHottie

        I wouldn’t accuse her of this if I wasn’t 100% sure I remembered her saying this. You can go searching for that link if it’d a make you happy tho…  

        • Seats

          No no no I’m saying I believe she said that. But I can’t find the interview so if anyone has it could they link it? I just myself can’t find it.

    • Shellbee

      Tell ‘em!

    • Pepper Anne

      You better preach that shit.

    • Yep It’s Kwanzaa

      OMG THIS people praising for claiming her blackness she only does it when she wants the black community’s support for movie mmmhmmm we clocked ya tea Zoe you cute tho.

  • Carmen

    She is a classy lady.. Im not gonna get mad at Zoe. I feel kinda bad for her because she got dragged. Let the film speak for itself and let us be the judge. I would be so here for Adeoero tho. I loved her in Pariah. 

  • Trinidad James’ Dental Plan

    I like Zoe, but she ain’t any blacker than the toadstool growing under Nicki Minaj’s lacefront. She can get the fuck outta here with all that “sistas and brothas” shit. Honestly.

    • Elia Ali

      Someone pick me up off this floor. Your username, my God…

  • FreeTuitionMakeHerDance

    She may have rightfully been the right choice for the directors and producers but that’s the whole deal with the bullshit of Hollywood. It’s always the directors or producers vision of what a certain event or person’s image should look like according to their OWN perception. I love Zoe and I won’t doubt her skills in acting out this role. She may very well do a good job. However, it’s very disappointing that she had to be concealed with so much make-up to LOOK like Nina Simone. There are plenty of credited dark-skinned actresses who I’m sure could have played this role. Because let’s be honest when I think of Nina Simone and who should portray her, the very last person to cross my mind is Zoe. And that’s going to be the downfall of this movie..but hopefully they pull some magic for the promo and make it look worthwhile…cuz… they are going to have to deal with some heated fans.

    • CaramelHottie

      That’s Hollywood for ya. They’re are more concerned with generating revenue opposed to producing a credible film of integrity and quality. It’s really sad.. 

  • Shellbee

    I’ll take “not watch” for 200, Alex.

  • Lexi grrrrl

    I feel Zoe. I do. But the backlash is not about her. Well my backlash isn’t. It’s about Hollywood and their constant reminder that dark skin don’t win. Period. And for that reason I will ALWAYS disagree.

  • S.

    On the contrary, I’ve heard Zoe INSIST that she was black …when the interviewer tried to lead her into saying that she was just “dark”.  I think the confusion may come in when she also insists on acknowledging her latin heritage. People want to make her one or the other. I’ve never heard or read where she denied her “blackness”

  • CadyHeron

    Whoopi Goldberg could have got up there and played Nina Simone..and that would have been more suitable then Zoe. But this is Hollywood….

  • cm

    Zoe has never denied that she is an Afro Latina…not sure where that message got all twisted. Yes there are other actresses that could have played the part and would have appeared more authentic. And yes Nina Simone’s daughter is not a fan of the project. But the insults being hurled at this woman of color for choosing to play a role is what is most disrespectful to the legacy of Nina Simone. Nina was ridiculed by her own people for being the ‘wrong’ shade of black…and here we are again. While others who have set this ball in motion, laugh at how little we have learned…

    • CaramelHottie

      You must not be reading these comments carefully.  Nobody’s coming for Zoe personally nor for how well she does her craft. If I must say it seems as if majority of people commenting are fans of Zoe. However, that doesn’t change the fact that she is not the person for this role. I know all actresses want that groundbreaking role that’s gonna take their careers to the next level but anybody with morals and integrity should know that dressing up in “black face” and prosthetic noses, is taking it too far.