Zoe not black enough

04 March 2016 - 02:19 By Leonie Wagner

Actress Zoe Saldana has come under fire for her role in the biopic on jazz singer Nina Simone.The release of the trailer to the documentary, Nina, in which Saldana plays the legendary civil rights activist, has since sparked outrage among fans.In the film's trailer, the 37-year-old appears to have darker skin and a wider nose, fuelling cries of "black-face".Saldana, born in the US to a father from the Dominican Republic and a Puerto Rican mother, plays the African-American music legend opposite British actor David Oyelowo.Fans of Simone first criticised the move to cast Saldana in 2012. But when the actress posted a quote on Twitter the Simone estate lashed out at her.Saldana's post read: "I'll tell you what freedom is to me - No Fear ... I mean really, no fear." #NinaSimone'."The official Twitter feed for Simone's estate replied: "Cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life."The release of the trailer also led many to ask why an actress more representative of Simone had not been cast as the lead.Both Saldana and the production company were slammed for casting a lighter- skinned woman, considering that the content of Simone's music was largely about her skin colour.Social media sites discussed the prejudice dark-skinned women face, saying the portrayal of Simone by Saldana was offensive.Afro Vixen on Twitter said: "I just watched the Nina Simone trailer ... shakes my head. Nina Simone sacrificed her whole career for Blackness and Black-face is what she gets."Divine Knowledge said: "@zoesaldana you have made a mockery of Nina Simone in regards to authentic blackness."Wikipedia Brown tweeted: "Nina Simone being dark skin is not a small detail. It was a huge part of her art and identity. Not casting appropriately is an affront to that."Others felt darker actresses such as Lupita Nyong'o or Viola Davis would have been better suited to the role. The film is expected to premiere next month.

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