Bossip's Instagram @bossipofficial, retrieved 3-3-2016
Bossip’s Instagram @bossipofficial, retrieved 3-3-2016

Despite criticism, Zoe Saldana will be portraying the late and great jazz performer Nina Simone in a biopic releasing this spring.

After the release of the film’s trailer, Saldana has been slammed, facing much backlash for playing the role of Black Activist, Nina Simone.

“Actress Zoe Saldana doesn’t deserve the sharp backlash she has received for her portrayal of the Legendary singer Nina Simone,” said the daughter of Simone.

The estate of Nina Simone took to twitter in rage after Zoe Saldana tweeted a quote from Simone: “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me — No Fear … I mean really, no fear.”

Nina’s estate directly replied to Zoe,tweeting,  “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life.”


Nina Simone’s only child, Lisa Simone Kelly, told TIME she was unaware of the verified twitter account that was representing her mothers estate had slammed Saldana.

For the biopic “Nina,” Zoe wears dark makeup and a prosthetic nose to resemble the late performer. Most of Saldana’s criticism comes from her not being darkskin and not having any musical talent. Many people believe there are other actresses that could have better portrayed Nina Simone.

Simone Kelly told TIME,

“It’s unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture. It’s clear she brought her best to this project, but unfortunately she’s being attacked when she’s not responsible for any of the writing or the lies.”

Simone’s daughter feels although all the backlash should go towards the films director Cynthia Mort. Lisa had been against this biopic for at least a decade and the family was not consulted during the production of “Nina.”

During Lisa’s interview with TIME she explained,

  “The project has been tainted from the very beginning. Clearly, it is not the truth about my mother’s life and everyone now knows that. This is not how you want your loved ones remembered.”

After the criticizing tweet from Nina Simone’s estate, they followed up with another:

RLJ Entertainment, which produced “Nina” also responded on twitter.

“Zoe Saldana delivers an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute to Nina Simone. She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent.The most important thing is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness.”

Although the family is “not upset with Zoe,” Simone Kelly revealed, the actress was not the “proper choice, appearance-wise.”

Nina was set to be released back in December 2015, but now the much talked about biopic will be in theaters April 22nd.

What are your thoughts on Zoe Saldana portraying Nina Simone? Dish below…

Written by: Marshay Rice

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