When you look back at the work of Zoe Saldana, you would be correct in saying that she has no problem wearing make-up to fit a particular role—she wore blue makeup in Avatar, green makeup for Guardians of the Galaxy, so why are people up in arms about her having to wear a makeup to make her a few shades darker to portray the iconic Jazz singer, Nina Simone? Not only does she have to wear darker makeup, but she wears a prosthetic nose as well.
Folks took to Twitter to openly criticize the casting choice in full force.
You would think as she’s having black face painted on her, that she would think “Gee, this is a TERRIBLE IDEA.” https://t.co/3uQWYithUn
— Banana Pepper (@PepperDempsey) March 2, 2016
Was it ok to darken Zoe Saldana’s skin so that she could play Nina Simone in a biopic or should they have just casted a darker actress?
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) March 1, 2016
Watching the trailer for the Nina Simone doc that stars Zoe Saldana just for me mad all over again. Mad 2.0. Mad the remix. Mad the sequel.
— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) March 2, 2016
And the comments go on and on. So why are people complaining? Why couldn’t the casting directors for the movie choose a darker skinned actress to play Ms. Simone? There are plenty of women who can sing and can act (other arguments why Saldana shouldn’t have been cast) who have a darker skin tone.
For example, you have Uzo Aduba who has proven that she can act and sing (hello twin Emmy awards!), Simone’s own daughter said that Viola Davis would have been an excellent choice to play Simone, as she has the “energy” and “look.” Some would even say that Fantasia Barrino would have been a better choice because we all know she can definitely evoke the same kind of feeling that Ms. Simone brought out in her music.
Whatever the case may be, will you be catching (and judging) Zoe’s attempt to do Nina Simone justice?