Zoe Saldana Talks Nina Simone Backlash

Zoe Saldana Responds to Nina Simone Casting Backlash

Over the past couple of months, Zoe Saldana has been caught in the middle of a controversy, as critics argued she was not the right choice to portray legend Nina Simone in an upcoming film. Some critics even suggested Saldana was not dark enough to convincingly look like Simone. Now, Saldana is speaking out on the negativity.

At a pre-Oscar bash last week, Saldana had a few choice words for those who doubted her abilities: ”What kept me from getting stressed and being hurt by the negative comments is that I’m doing it for my sisters and my brothers and I don’t care who tells me I’m not this or I’m not that. I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me.”

Saldana further notes notes she took the role for all women of color, “I did it all for love. Out of love for Nina, my people and who I am and my pride of being a Black woman and a Latina woman and an American woman. That’s my truth.”

You can watch more of her defense below:

Downton Abbey Adds First Black Character

Season 4 will bring plenty of changes for Downton Abbey. Now that the war is over and family members are dropping by the minute, the creators are looking to bring some fresh faces to the series.

Writer Julian Fellowes will bring modernity to the English country estate by expanding the diversity of Downton‘s cast.  The show is now set in the 1920s, a full 10 years removed from the first season premiere, which chronicled the 1912 Titanic sinking. Adding a more diverse cast will help emphasize that the world is changing for the insular, aristocratic family that occupies the estate–it will also help Fellowes quiet critics who attack the show for only featuring white actors.

Also on the casting to-do list is finding a new love interest for Lady Mary, whose husband Matthew (and heir to the estate) was killed in the Season 3 finale.

OWN Launches Season 3 With Alicia Keys Master Class

OWN is turning three–and celebrating with Alicia Keys.  Oprah’s Master Class, one of the network’s centerpiece programs, will have a special third season premiere episode that features Keys.

Keys will be discussing her meteoric rise to fame. “Literally, I was running from pimps and prostitutes, to boom- I was on the Oprah show,” she says in a promo clip, referencing her upbringing in Hell’s Kitchen. The “Girl on Fire” songstress will be discussing motherhood, the evolution of her music, and more Sunday, March 3 at 10 PM EST.

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