Nina Simone’s daughter addresses controversy over film

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Nina Simone in 1969. Credit: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive - Getty Images

Outrage over Zoe Saldana’s being cast to play the late Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic spurred critics to launch a boycott page on change.org, but the late singer’s daughter isn’t backing the campaign. “I really didn’t feel much of anything except for poor Zoe,” Lisa Simone Kelly said of her reaction to the film in an interview with Time.

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Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone. Image: Ealing Studios Entertainment

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone. Image: Ealing Studios Entertainment

Nina Simone in 1969. Credit: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive - Getty Images

Nina Simone in 1969. Credit: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive – Getty Images

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The protest effort takes issue with Saldana wearing makeup in order to darken her skin to more closely resemble Simone’s complexion.

Getting light-complexioned actors to play the roles of dark-complexioned historical figures is not only a sign of blatant disrespect to the persons they are portraying, but it is also disrespectful to their families, to history, to the people who look like the persons being whitewashed, and to the intelligence of the audience,” it reads.

Simone Kelly disagrees with how her mother is portrayed in the film, a larger issue than who was cast in the leading role.

“It’s unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture,” she told Time.

Here is the trailer: