Outrage over Zoe Saldana being cast as Nina Simone sparks boycott effort


Critics outraged that Zoe Saldana will play the late Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic have launched a boycott page on change.org.

"Getting light-complexioned actors to play the roles of dark-complexioned historical figures is not only a sign of blatant disrespect to the persons they are portraying, but it is also disrespectful to their families, to history, to the people who look like the persons being whitewashed, and to the intelligence of the audience," it reads.

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Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone. Image: Ealing Studios Entertainment

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The movie, "Nina," stars David Oyelowo as her manager Clifton Henderson, Mike Epps as comedian Richard Pryor and  Ella Thomas as writer Lorraine Hansberry. It's due out in April.

Nina Simone in 1969. Credit: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive - Getty Images

Critics behind the protest site note they don't dispute Saldana's talents but blast the choice to cast her as Simone: "For too long Hollywood has gotten away with this practice of revisionist history and it is time that we let our voices be heard, be it by this petition or by boycotting the movie if no change has been made as to who will portray Nina Simone. This is not a diss to Zoe Saldana. She is an excellent actress, but this movie role so much bigger than her undeniable talent."

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About the Author

Jennifer Brett
Jennifer Brett
Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for accessAtlanta.com.