Since word of Zoe Saldana‘s inclusion as the lead of the Cynthia Mort-directed biopic on the legendary singer/songwriter Nina Simone, the film has been cloaked in controversy.
From esteemed movie critics to fellow singers and actors alike, the movie’s been berated by many who feel Saldana’s casting is not only inappropriate, but also speaks to a larger issue of colorism and racism within the entertainment industry.
After the likes of Queen Latifah and Paula Patton came to Zoe’s defense, the ‘Colombiana’ star is finally clapping back at critics herself and slamming those not in favor of her portrayal of Simone. Get into her words from ‘Allure’ magazine below:
“There’s no one way to be black,” Saldana said. “I’m black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I’m raising black men. Don’t you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain.”
She added, “The fact that we’re talking about her, that Nina Simone is trending? We f—ing won. For so many years, nobody knew who the f— she was. She is essential to our American history. As a woman first, and only then as everything else.
“I never saw her as unattractive. Nina looks like half my family. But if you think the [prosthetic] nose I wore was unattractive, then maybe you need to ask yourself, what do you consider beautiful? Do you consider a thinner nose beautiful, so the wider you get, the more insulted you become?”