R&B-soul singer, India.Arie, is rarely seen in the media, but with all of this controversy surrounding the Nina Simone biopic; Arie has decided to speak out for the second time on these series of unusual events.
When photos of the biopic first surfaced in 2012, India.Arie had a lot to say in a letter addressing the issue of using ‘Black(er)’ face for the movie. Now, Arie has had the chance to sit down with the The Hollywood Reporter to discuss further on why she thinks choosing Zoe Saldana is a type of “tone-deaf” casting.
“I think the best way to say it is that they casted her against type and went too far to make her fit. It’s not my place to say how Zoe Saldana perceives herself, and I can’t say how anybody else perceives her either. I see her as a black person of Hispanic origin, but I don’t even know what that really means, because I don’t know anything about race and Hispanic culture.”
While Arie doesn’t blame Zoe for being casted, she is still unsure as to why she took on the role of Nina Simone. “I don’t know her and I don’t think she did anything wrong. If I were in her shoes and I admired Nina Simone the way that I hear she does, I would have said yes, too.”
She continues, “I think they cast Zoe Saldana because they wanted a big name, but that makes me ask, “Is the name Nina Simone not big enough to get people to come to the movie?”
Actors and actresses use prosthetics and makeup to alter their faces and figures all the time, but I have to play the Devil’s advocate and ask you all, what is so wrong with Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone? Is it because Nina was an advocate for equality throughout the Civil Rights movement and the use of Blackface is a slap in the face?
Or is it all apart of the game of Hollywood and we should just suck it up and deal with it?
What do you think/believe?
TSR Intern: Cadarius IG & Twitter | @cadarius_