The trailer for Nina, the Nina Simone biopic starring Zoe Saldana, is finally here.
The long-delayed film has come under fire for making Zoe Saldana appear darker.
Nina Simone’s family has slammed Zoe Saldana after the trailer was released on Wednesday.
Concerns had already been raised about the choice of casting Saldana for the role of the iconic jazz singer and civil rights activist, but the actress has now come under fire for being made to appear darker, with one calling it a “mockery”.
In an attempt to make Saldana look like Simone, makeup artists applied dark makeup to Saldana’s body and even crafted her a prosthetic nose.
The 37-year-old took to Twitter when the trailer was released to tweet a quote from the singer, and Nina’s estate fired back.
“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me – No Fear.. I mean really, no fear #NinaSimone,” Zoe wrote.
Nina Simone’s account replied: “@zoesaldana cool story but please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life.”
And hours later, the singer’s estate said it was “heartbreaking”, presumably referring to the trailer.
“Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now…”
In another veiled attack, YouTube videos of Nina’s song Go To Hell and That Blackness were posted.
While on her Facebook page a post was shared saying fans of the singer should use the film’s April release date as an opportunity to host their own Nina Simone listening and viewing parties.
“We can use this date as another opportunity to celebrate Nina’s life and music. Let’s create a positive from a negative by coming together and acknowledging the authentic Nina Simone,” it read.
“Nothing can diminish Nina or her legacy. No one can rob Nina of her gift – or rob us of the gift she shared with us.”
People also flocked to Twitter to criticize the choice of casting, asking why a darker actress wasn’t chosen for the role instead of making Zoe don “blackface”.
“As someone who was pretty indifferent about Zoe being cast as Nina, this makeup job looks horrible. It’s almost like watching a parody. What was the director thinking? Perhaps she should have left the makeup off of Zoe. That’s going to be a huge distraction!”
Another wrote: “I say this with absolute love in my heart: Zoe Saldana looks like she’s in blackface in the nina simone trailer.”
“This trailer for “Nina” is just… this is terrible. And please don’t come on my timeline caping for this mockery of an American icon. Go away,” someone tweeted which was later retweeted by Nina’s estate.
“You know who I hurt for and the most angry for? Nina Simone’s daughter. She has to live through this. NO DAUGHTER DESERVES THAT.”
Back in 2012, Nina’s daughter said she had concerns over Zoe being cast as her famous mother.
“My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark. Appearance-wise, this is not the best choice,” Simone says