Zoe Saldana has had a rough few weeks as she’s been repeatedly blasted by fans and family members of late soul legend Nina Simone for her portrayal of the singer in the upcoming film biopic Nina. Although lots of people have had something negative to say about Saldana and the film, Saldana recently got some votes of confidence from fellow actresses Queen Latifah and Paula Patton.
As previously reported, hordes of fans have been blasting Saldana online for playing Simone because Saldana is Latina and much lighter in complexion than the soul singer and needed to wear blackface, a prosthetic nose and fake teeth to portray her. Both fans and family of Simone have said that Saldana’s portrayal is disrespectful to Simone’s legacy. They have also claimed that the role should’ve gone to other qualified, darker-skinned actresses like Danai Gurira, Adepero Oduye, Viola Davis or India Arie.
However, Saldana got some support from Simone’s daughter, as well as India Arie, who both slammed the film while also making sure to defend Saldana from her numerous critics.
This week, Saldana got even more celebrity support when Latifah spoke out about the controversy and defended Saldana against those who claim she isn’t Black enough for the role.
“I think Zoe Saldana is a great actress, so I am looking forward to it. She is of African descent — I don’t see why she shouldn’t play the role. I just want to see it. Get rid of the hype and let’s go watch a movie,” Latifah said.
Patton also addressed the controversy and advised fans not to spend their time trying to tear Saldana down when they haven’t seen the film yet.
“Imagine being in her shoes and enduring that. It’s not cool, and it’s not right. Clearly, someone thought she was perfect for it — she’s an amazing actress, she’s beautiful — and you haven’t even given her a chance and you haven’t seen it yet. I think we have to be in a place where we celebrate each other and are kind to one another, and say, ‘There’s alternate versions of a story’. Give her a shot, try to enjoy it and stop judging,” Patton said.
What do you think of Latifah and Patton’s statements on Saldana and the film? Let us know in the comments.