Zoe Saldana received a lot of backlash for her role as Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic. While it’s not as much Saldana’s fault as it is casting manager’s, the criticism of the casting is well-deserved in wake of her comments about race and gender. Nina Simone’s legacy and story are rooted in her dark complexion and non-traditional beauty. Zoe Saldana, while amazingly talented and beautiful in her own right, doesn’t necessarily embody that. Instead of seeking an equally talented actress to play Simone, they’re slapping some black face on Saldana and calling it a day. Needless to say I’m less than enthused about the flick.
However I was overjoyed to hear that Issa Rae, creator of the hilarious Awkward Black Girl web series, has been cast to play the legendary Simone in an upcoming biopic about Lorraine Hansberry. Hansberry is the posthumously famed black woman writer who penned A Raisin the Sun.
This piece gets extra cool points because Hansberry will played by her very own grandniece, Taye Hansberry. Read more about the upcoming project at Shadow & Act.