Zoe Saldana Centre Of Race Controversy
Hollywood actress Zoe Saldana is the centre of controversy, following being dubbed ‘too light-skinned’ to play jazz singer Nina Simone in an upcoming film.
Dominican-Puerto Rican actress Zoe Saldana is one of the most talented rising stars in Hollywood, with well renowned directors fighting to sign her up to their films, following her fantastic performance in the Oscar winning film Avatar. However, when rumors emerged that Zoe looks set to play legendary Jazz singer Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic, a huge backlash occurred purely over the actresses skin colour.
An article in the New York Times newspaper, revealed that a surprisingly large number of people in the online community have started a campaign to have Zoe removed from playing the role of Nina in the hotly anticipated film, as they believe she is not ‘dark-skinned enough’.
Blogger Tiffani Jones, was one of the key figures who sparked the debate over Zoe being cast for the role, when she took to her blog to say: “Hollywood and the media have a tendency to whitewash and lightwash a lot of stories, particularly when black actresses are concerned. When is it going to be OK to not be the delicate looking ideal of what the media considers blackness to be?”
Nina’s daughter Simone Kelly herself is not keen on Zoe playing her late mother, and would rather see someone with a similar skin-tone get the part. Simone took to Facebook to air her thoughts on the controversy, revealing she feels Zoe is an incredible actress, but would prefer to see a dark-skinned actress in the role: “Appearance-wise this is not the best choice.” Simone went on to add that her mother would have loved Whoopi Goldberg to play her in a movie.
The whole issue regarding Zoe in this role raises the debate as to whether an actors performance can outshine the differences they may bare with the appearance of the character they are playing. Was Zoe cast because of her acting ability, or was Hollywood trying to conventionalize Nina’s image. It is thought that Zoe will remain in the role, despite the public outcry.
Article By Victoria Beckett