Zoe Saldana has faced a lot of criticism for portraying legendary singer Nina Simone in the upcoming Nina biopic. After a poster for the film was released this week, many expressed outrage that Saldana, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, wore dark face makeup to portray African-American Simone. Even the official Twitter account of the late singer's estate joined in on the backlash, while the founder and chairman of RLJ Entertainment, which is distributing the film, came to the actress' defense.
Now, Simone's daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly is also voicing her support for the actress. Simone Kelly explained to Time that she was unaware of the tweet. She told them, “It’s unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture. It’s clear she brought her best to this project, but unfortunately she’s being attacked when she’s not responsible for any of the writing or the lies.”
Simone Kelly was clear, however, that her sympathy for Saldana does not mean she supports the casting choice, or the film itself. She went on to explain, "There are many superb actresses of color who could more adequately represent my mother and could bring her to the screen with the proper script, the proper team, and a sense of wanting to bring the truth of my mother’s journey to the masses.”