Amid the torrential downpour of criticism upon Zoe Saldana for taking the role of the dark-skinned Nina Simone, she has received some cover from being drenched with hate in the form of support from, surprisingly, Simone’s daughter. Later, Saldana got some nods from soul singer India.Arie. While they both panned the movie, the supported Saldana’s right to play the role of the legendary singer.
Saldana got even grander support when A-list actor and rapper Queen Latifah and veteran thespian Paula Patton spoke in Saldana’s defense of portraying Simone.
“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 got Saldana’s back and is angered that she and the movie have been pummeled before it’s even come out.
“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,” Patton said. “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.”