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Outrage over Zoe Saldana ‘blackface’ in Nina Simone biopic trailer

A TRAILER for the upcoming biopic about Nina Simone has sparked fresh outrage over the casting of Latina Zoe Saldana – who reportedly darkened her face with makeup to play the late jazz singer.
Hot on the heels of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, critics are blasting Saldana, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, for her role as the African-American civil rights hero.
The actress, who also wears a prosthetic nose in the film, has even come under fire from Simone’s official Twitter account after she shared a quote by the legend.


Trailer drops for Nina Simone biopic





Saldana appears with darkened skin and a prosthetic nose in the trailer for Nina Getty Images

Saldana tweeted: “‘I’ll tell you what freedom is to me- No Fear... I mean really, no fear.’ #NinaSimone” – and Simone’s official account fired back: “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out of your mouth. For the rest of your life.”
Later the same account tweeted: "Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now..."




Nina Simone's estate fires back at Saldana's tweet Twitter

Simone’s daughter, a Broadway actress who goes by the name Simone, expressed disappointment when Saldana was cast in 2012, suggesting Viola Davis or Kimberly Elise would have been a better candidate.
At the time she said: "Appearance-wise this is not the best choice."
"My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark.”




Nina Simone's daughter said Saldana was 'not the best choice' to play her mother





Simone's family has complained that they were not consulted during production of the biopic

However she denies responsibility for the tweet's from her mother's account, which is reportedly managed by a friend hired by her family.
In fact she came to the actress’s defence, telling TIME magazine in a rare interview: “It’s unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture.




Simone's daughter says Kimberly Elise (left) or Viola Davis would have been a better choice to play her mother Getty Images

“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.”
She said criticism for the movie should be aimed at the director, Cynthia Mort, complaining that the family was not consulted during production and that its focus is on a relationship between her mother and her manager Clifton Henderson – which she claims “never took place”.



In a past interview Simone’s daughter, 53, said there was no need for Hollywood to fictionalise the life of her mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder and breast cancer before dying in her sleep in at age 70 in 2003.
She said: “My mother's life was tragic enough. My mother suffered enough. Her life is full of enough wonderful and tragic true things to make a hit movie. You don't have to embellish her story.”