Controversy is continuing to build around the upcoming spring biopic about legendary singer Nina Simone.
On Wednesday the trailer for Nina hit the Web and Black Twitter erupted with comments about the lead, Zoe Saldana. Many puzzled by the choice to cast Zoe, a light skinned Latina who in order to achieve Nina’s look was forced to wear a wig, prosthetic nose and dark makeup.
And while Twitter timelines flooded with reaction to the trailer, Simone’s estate fell right into the mix.
On Wednesday night, the person running the account for Nina Simone asked Zoe via social media to “take Nina’s name of your mouth” for the “rest of your life.” @NinaSimoneMusic followed up with a message to fans explaining that this is all very “painful,” “gut-wrenching” and “heartbreaking.”
Zoe has yet to respond to the request to not speak of Simone, however, on Tuesday, she tweeted:
Despite the criticism, Zoe is still defending her role in Nina, telling HipHollywood her intentions are pure. “I’m doing it for my sisters, I’m doing it for my brothers and I don’t care who tells me that I am not this and I am not that. I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me, so that is my truth and that set me free,” she says in an exclusive interview with HipHollywood.com.
As for the film’s inevitable criticism following its release, she adds, “If it comes back in a negative fashion or a positive, I’m going to keep my chin up because that’s who I am and that’s who I’ll be and Nina was like that too. I did it all out if love, out of love for Nina, out of love for my people and who I am and my pride of being a Black woman, a Latina woman, an American woman, and that’s my truth.”