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India Arie Criticizes Zoe Saldana Being Cast As Nina Simone

India Arie has added her voice to the considerable outcry over Zoe Saldana portraying Nina Simone in a bippic of her life.

The “I Am Not My Hair” singer criticized the casting in an essay posted on Nina Simone’s webpage. While she believes Simone deserves to have a biographical film, she thinks the film is ignoring a central part of the jazz singer’s legacy. “So today I saw the images of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone…AND I THINK THEY ARE RIDICULOUS,” India.Arie wrote. “Yes there should be a movie made, and YES they should have chosen someone who LOOKS like Nina Simone, ESPECIALLY since her RACE played such a PIVOTAL role in WHO, WHAT and WHY, she was.”

She also mused about the makeup that was placed on the lighter skinned Saldana. “THAT ASIDE for a second, this just looks WEIRD, it looks like a person in Black(er) face with a fake nose … REALLY?!!!!” she continued. “DOES NOT THE ONE NINA SIMONE’S LEGACY DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS? If they were going to pick a person who looks NOTHING like Nina Simone … why not her daughter Simone *shrug* just saying.:

Arie also addressed suggestions that she should be the one to portray Simone on film. Apparently, the songstress doesn’t think she is a good fit for the role either. “I have always been OPEN to playing Nina, but I never saw its as my RIGHT! I am clearly Nina Simone’s Physical Heir Apparent, THAT doesn’t mean I SHOULD play her, its been tossed around A LOT, for a LONG TIME,” she wrote. “I back down because I feel her legacy deserves better than a FIRST TIME MOVIE ACTRESS, I’m like that about my heroes. If I ever FELT I was truly CALLED to play her, I would. And maybe Zoe Saldana REALLY is BEING CALLED SPIRITUALLY TO PLAY THIS ROLE …”

She ended the post by saying actress Viola Davis should have the role.

What people are saying

2 thoughts on “India Arie Criticizes Zoe Saldana Being Cast As Nina Simone

  1. Mustafa Akamo says:

    completely agree. it's like getting larry fishburne to play JFK in a movie. it's just STUPID.

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