An innocent tweet by actress Zöe Saldana was met with a nasty response posted on the late singer Nina Simone‘s official Twitter account.
“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me – No Fear – I mean really, no fear,” said Saldana’s tweet, quoting something once said by Simone. Saldana is portraying the singer/civil rights activist in the biopic Nina.
“Cool story but please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life,” came the acid response from the Simone Twitter account.
Later, someone tried to justify the ugly post saying “Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now…”
So what is the problem that some have with Saldana’s casting? Evidently the actress is not dark enough. In the film, she is wearing an afro wig and her skin has been darkened for the role.
Back in 2012, Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly commented on the casting choice of Saldana. “I love Zöe Saldana, we all love Zöe…From Avatar to Colombiana, I’ve seen those movies a few times,” she said. “But not every project is for everybody. And I know what my mother would think. I just don’t get it…”
“I didn’t think I was right for the part, and I know a lot of people will agree, but then again, I don’t think Elizabeth Taylor was right for Cleopatra either,” said Saldana in 2015. But – “an artist is colorless, genderless.”
But according to Kelly, who spoke recently to Time Magazine on the matter, she doesn’t know who posted the comment on the verified Twitter account and she expressed sympathy for the actress, who had replaced singer Mary J. Blige in the project. “It’s unfortunate that Zöe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture,” said Kelly. “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.” Kelly believes that criticism towards the casting and storyline should go towards the film’s director, Cynthia Mort.
So who wrote the Twitter post? According to Simone’s family, family friend Aaron Overfield manages their official website and Facebook page, but it’s unclear who runs the late singer’s Twitter account.