Petition To Stop Zoe Saldana From Playing Nina Simone

By  | has posted a petition requesting the removal of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone. They are saying that the part should be played by an actress who looks like the late great jazz singer. A photo was leaked to the public, last month, showing Saldana on set, with a prosthetic nose and her skin darkened by make-up. The black face days are clearly not over.

Simone’s daughter, Simone Kelly had strongly disagreed with the casting of  Saldana, in the role. Simone says in The New York Times, “My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark. Appearance-wise this is not the best choice,” she said. Simone had chosen Whoopi Goldberg for the part. There are plenty of talented actresses of color, that are more than capable of doing Nina Simone’s legacy proud.

Joining Simone in her opposition is singer, India. Arie. Arie says, “YES they should have chosen someone who LOOKS like Nina Simone, ESPECIALLY since her RACE played such a PIVOTAL role in WHO, WHAT and WHY, she was,” “THAT ASIDE for a second, this just looks WEIRD, it looks like a person in Black(er) face with a fake nose … REALLY?!!!!” . Even Arie, would have been better suited to play Simone. Another person to consider, would have been Viola Davis. But Hollywood, as we know, is all about the mighty dollar.

Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City.

Follow @asalovechild

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  1. Omau Bey Ali

    November 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Nina Simone deserves to have a Black Actress to not only portray her life, but a Black Actress who matches Her in physical characteristics.

    • S. Collins

      November 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

      I also agree with the sentiment of Nina Simone.

  2. george dyer

    November 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I believe that someone who is selected to play Nina Simone should have very similar physical features.

  3. Cree Seven

    November 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    They can take a woman off the street to play the lead role of dark-skinned, obese, pathetic Precious. But, can’t find a dark-skinned woman to play Nina Simone amongst all the out-of work black actresses OR off the street. If you can’t see that this is a DELIBERATE and MALICIOUS assault against black women, you might wanna have someone check to see if the cereal box you’re pouring is really rat poison.

    • Onaje Asheber

      November 21, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Right On It!

    • Barbara

      November 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      What bothers me is the BLACKFACE “comeback.” No sooner than our Civil Rights organizations fight to get rid of the carcitures of Black people in BLACKFACE, here the same Whites bring it back to us.

      Now, they will use their WHITE OWNED magazines (ESSENCE/EBONY) to sell it to us and tell us it’s ok.

      Did you see how they used one of our favorite sportsman to compare him to the King Kong wild beast ape–Lebron James? Now they are using another of our icons–Nina Simone–to put her in Blackface.

      It’s ridiculous that Black people can’t see what’s happening here!!

      This is not about going against Black actors; it’s about White Racist Supremacy.

  4. De Andra Meighan

    November 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I real interesting that they passed up an actress who looks a lot like Nina Simone: Nicki Micheaux. She would have been a very good choice.

  5. michael d young

    November 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    I agree. I don’t think she should play Nina Simone. I don’t know if she takes acting lessons, but I think India Arie should play the part, or Oscar nominee Viola Davis would even be a better choice.

  6. JC

    November 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    And just like that we as a people of color just stepped 100 folds back. Did anyone ever think perhaps those other actress said no to the roll or maybe their agent made the decision to pass? Or just not interested. The real issue isn’t that Zoe isn’t fit for the Nina roll it’s the “Black Checking” aka she’s not black enough that’s the issue. This needs to stop and if we don’t start the conversation of Black Checking going and move on from there then the GOP was right in thinking that they can conquer and divide. This black checking by African American’s happens too much and I’m tired of it. This has happened to me all my life being questioned whether I’m black enough and you know what I’m 10 steps ahead of haters. Keep it up and you’ll see that the world stage is laughing and judging the AA community in America.

    • Mak Legend

      November 21, 2012 at 8:42 am

      I could tell from your first word that you were taking this personally. This is not about you and Nina Simone deserves to have her story told properly. So tired of Hollywood and their shananagins. I think India Arie or Lauryn Hill should play Nina, not some chic that they have to put in black face. Next Chris Brown will be playing James Brown. This could end up worse than that sham of a movie where Flex Washington played Michael Jackson!

  7. jembequeen

    November 21, 2012 at 2:03 am

    ummm see how easily we get off track on trivia? Where’s the petition? I think that’s why we all clicked on this article, right?! Hoodwinked again!

  8. Jonathan Trapp

    November 21, 2012 at 3:23 am

    If. It was all good then why paint black skin on her…….

    • david

      November 21, 2012 at 10:28 am


  9. Thelma Williams

    November 21, 2012 at 3:30 am

    While Saldana is an attractive woman so was Nina. She was my kind of woman and I adored her work. Her features was one of her signature pieces and I think an actress with similar features would be more realistic.What I admired most was her in your face and I don’t back down for nobody attitude and we need more people like her in these trying times.Who ever they get to play the role will only make a meager attempt because Nina was a woman with unfulfillable shoes. I hope her daughter succeeds in her attempt at getting Hollywood to reconsider the casting of Saldana in the role.I cannot imagine Saldana saying “My name is Peaches!!

  10. Alvin Grimes

    November 21, 2012 at 5:02 am

    We need to stop begging Hollywood to do the right thing and simply stay at home. Find out who produced the film and boycott their next films as well. And then hopefully someone with money, who feels the same way that we do will make a more suitable movie.

  11. Sean brown

    November 21, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Wow what an argument this is turning out to be. First off let me say I like
    Saldana as an actor she did a great job in Columbiana but Nina’s struggle,music,and image
    is what should be expressed Hollywood lost me on this one. That’s like Chris Brown playing Ray Charles instead a Jamie.

    • Mak Legend

      November 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

      That’s like Chris Brown playing James Brown!!!

  12. MsPeppa

    November 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Zoe should think long and hard about playing this role. her career could very well hang in the balance here. On the flip side, if she took a stance and made it public that she understand where the fans are coming from and took the high road in turning down the role, I believe she would develop an overnight fan base, that she does not already have. People love when celebrities side with them and show that their opinion matters.

  13. Mak Legend

    November 21, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I believe she deserves to be played by an actress who looks like her because it will show a better representation of who she was an what she had to endure and overcome. Also, for All of the people talking about being hoodwinked, this is one of the problems with our black community. Ok, so you don’t see a link…. It takes 2 seconds to go to google and type Nina Simone Petition and bam it’s right there on Stop being lazy and complaining about everything and actually do something other than complain. Now go find the petition and sign it.

  14. marcus davis

    November 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Personally i think yes another actress who has a resemblance to Nina Simone should definetly play the part other than that just don,t pay money to see the movie.

  15. Judie G

    November 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    It defeats the purpose if Zoe has to wear black face-ludicrous! It is insulting and a slap in the face. I am in full agreement with Ms. Simone’s daughter that someone with similar features should play the part of Nina Simone-someone who does not have to wear “black face.” I will sign a petition.

  16. R Bill DFouglas

    November 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Whoopi Goldberg came to mind, initially, upon reading the article. She has features as close to those of Nina’s as anyone I can think of! Plus, Whoopi is an excellent actress and would convey through body language as well as moods and feelings felt by Nina!! No light-sklinned diva can ever appreciate or experience living and working in a country/society that places such a high premium on fair skin and aquiline facial features, when yours are just the opposite!!!

    Nina was a genius with a singing style as unique and exquisite Thelonious Monks’ piano playing style!! Her life story and beauty needs to be portrayed as accurately as possible!!!!!


    November 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Where’s the petition for I want to sign it too.

  18. Erica

    November 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    We don’t have to go see the film, but to deprive a sister from getting her paper is wrong. Light or dark, she has to eat too.

  19. That1chick

    November 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Zoe Saldana is a beautiful woman and an excellent actress. I have a problem with her wearing prosthetic lips and a prosthetic nose along with darkening her skin for the role. How is this honoring Nina Simone’s legacy? I find it hard to believe no one was able to find an actress where these extremes are necessary.

  20. BK

    November 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Help yeah! Not to mention the fact that Zoe only dates White men…no brothers……

  21. al duckett

    November 22, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    People while you’re at it see if you can find somebodly that looks like King Lear, Macbeth and the rest – then break the news to Denzel Washington and all of the otherfine black actors and tell them they can’t play the part. Shame shame shame

  22. SouthernGirl59

    November 23, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I say respect Nina Simone’s daughter’s feelings about who plays her mother. I like Zoe Saldana, but I’d love to see Viola Davis play Nina Simone. You must know the history of Nina Simone and racism in this country to understand her daughter’s very strong feelings about who plays her mother. They can make the film, but we don’t have to support it.

  23. Lorraine turner

    November 23, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I think Whoopi Goldberg would be an excellent choice

  24. El Espada Matthews

    November 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Can a young actress ply her trade in peace? It’s about Nina’s music. Her music will over shadow whoever plays the part. I just hope that Zoe’s acting is convincing. If it is, she will do Nina Simone’s bio-pic justice.

  25. Awilda Rivera

    November 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm

  26. Awilda Rivera

    November 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Nina Simone Wanted Whoopi Goldberg to Play Her in Biopic

  27. Addie

    November 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Other than the fact that Whoopi Goldberg is a superior actor, Zoe Saldana isn’t fit for the roll of the iconic Nina Simone.
    I think Whoopi would do a tremendous job of portraying Nina Simone.
    Any movie that I’ve seen Whoopi in has been outstanding.
    She is perfect for the part.
    Is there a link to the petition?

  28. Rev. George Brooks

    November 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I knew Nina and I know for certain that she, if here, would let go of some rather tough language, maybe even nasty, (smile) about the selection of this young lady playing her. And if it’s not changed, I certainly will not go to see it, nor on TV either. — Rev. George Brooks

  29. Will Fuller

    November 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Any actress chosen to play Nina should have be one who has shown sincere desire for African Liberation. If not this would be an insult to the memory of Miss Nina Simone.

  30. stoptheassasinationofblkppl

    November 25, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Us blk ppl must Stop Hollywood and others from replacing blk ppl with dark skin foreigners and tearing down what all our ancestors have build by using ppl that look just like us…whats the solution??? Because If This sh&@! don’t stop blk ppl going to seize to exist!!

  31. Eva Jones

    November 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    What is wrong with Whoopi,India or Mary j.? Nobody’s trying to stop Zoes bread but dang she can’t play everything and everybody. You may have even gotten away with Lauryn Hill. This is like casting Jada Pinkett-Smith to play Aliyah.

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    March 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

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