‘Truth’ songstress India Arie took to NinaSimone.com several days ago to share her thoughts on Zoe Saldana‘s casting as Nina Simone in her long overdue, forthcoming biopic. Originally said to be portrayed by singer Mary J. Blige, the announcement of Saldana being cast in the part not only sent shockwaves through the industry, but was met with extremely mixed reviews.
However, when photos (like the one seen above) surfaced of Saldana in costume, some members of the African American community responded in outrage – Arie one of them. Her fiery comments below:
“SO TODAY I saw the images of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone…
AND I THINK THEY ARE RIDICULOUS!
…this just looks WEIRD, it looks like a person in Black(er) face with a fake nose … REALLY?!!!!
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 …
As hard as Nina had to fight for what she wanted BECAUSE she was black and looked the way she did … THIS looks like a parody. If it has to be FORCED this hard something’s not right!
But these images … just make me feel … SAD. Not because I want to play Nina Simone but because IT FEELS OUT OF PLACE WITH WHAT NINA SIMONE MEANS IN AN AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORICAL CONTEXT!!!! !
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. I back down because I feel her legacy deserves better than a FIRST TIME MOVIE ACTRESS.
I DO NOT LIKE these PICTURES. AT ALL.”
The singer concluded her testimony be asserting that actress Viola Davis would be the best choice to portray Simone. Read the rest of India’s comments by clicking here.