When I first heard about this movie a couple of years ago, I said the same thing everyone else said at the time: What the hell? And now that the movie finally has a trailer and a release date, that sentiment hasn’t changed. Listen, I don’t begrudge any actress of color taking work where she can find it in the hellscape known as Hollywood, but this should have been a no-go from the start.
I was perplexed when I found out that Zoe Saldana was playing the role of the iconic Nina Simone because I just didn’t think she was right for the part. But my puzzlement over her casting turned into disgust and anger when I learned she had to have her skin darkened and a prosthetic nose applied in order to achieve Nina’s appearance. That was a deal breaker for me. And judging by the horrendous trailer that has recently been released, it should have also been a deal breaker for the filmmakers.
It’s so bad I suffer secondhand embarrassment every time I watch it.
Anyway, I’m not going to rehash a lot of what has been said about this movie. Most people aren’t happy that Zoe is playing the part, nor are they happy with Zoe for taking the part. All I know for certain is that I’ll be skipping this one. My money and time is better spent doing something else. Anything else.
Zoe Saldana is done all the venom being hurled at immigrants and Latino culture. Zoe is the cover girl for this month’s Latina magazine and she doesn’t mince words when asked about the immigration debate that has become a poisonous part of the presidential race:
What do you say to those who are scared by the Latinization of America?
You can’t kill us. You can’t send us back. We are millions and millions here because it is our time to migrate. We are the youngest culture. We are doing what your people did. So shut up and just deal with it. Adjust your laws, because it’s not going away. If anything, I want to give them a hug, and say, “It’s okay. It’s new. Don’t be scared. We’re great people. We’re gonna do great and better things for your country. Trust me.” We’re not angry either. We’re a culture that isn’t angry.
Do you feel personally affected by the immigration debate?
This topic of immigration hurts because I don’t want to be angry anymore. I don’t believe that what anybody else is saying is true about me or my people. I’m kind of embarrassed when you see all of these people talking on national television, and it’s like, “Oh my God, if your grandfather were alive today, when he came here from Ireland, from Italy, escaped the f–king war in Russia. You’re rotting his name to shame. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, or how many degrees from Ivy League schools. You’re such a bigot. You’re such a hick right now.” People have to be open to the reality of what’s happening in our country.
Zoe Saldana has joined President Obama’s It’s On Us campaign which seeks to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. She, along with Nina Dobrev, Matt McGorry, and John Cho has made a promotional video for the campaign.