Nina Simone Estate Slams 'Nina' Star Zoe Saldana on Twitter
Associated Press | 3/9/2016, 4:40 p.m.
LOS ANGELES -- If there was any doubt about how Nina Simone's family feels about the upcoming biopic starring Zoe Saldana, recent social media posts make it clear they are not pleased.
A fresh round of criticism for the film erupted after the trailer and poster for "Nina" were unveiled last Wednesday.
Saldana posted a quote from the singer and civil rights activist on Twitter, and Simone's estate responded with: "Cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life."
Simone's daughter and others have decried the choice to cast a light-skinned actress as the African-American activist since Saldana took the part in 2012. Her skin was apparently darkened for the role.
The Simone estate also posted Wednesday: "Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now..."
The singer's estate cooperated with producers of the Netflix documentary "What Happened, Miss Simone?" which was nominated for an Oscar this year.
Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of the studio releasing "Nina," describes Saldana's performance as "an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute."
"She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent," he said in a statement Thursday. "The most important thing is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness."
RLJ Entertainment will release "Nina" in theaters, digital HD and video on demand on April 22.