Magazine article Screen International

RLJ Entertainment Weighs in on 'Nina' Controversy

Magazine article Screen International

RLJ Entertainment Weighs in on 'Nina' Controversy

Article excerpt

RLJ Entertainment founder and chairman Robert L. Johnson, who also founded the Black Entertainment Network, defended his star, whose parents hail from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, calling her portrayal "an exceptional and mesmerising tribute to Nina Simone."

Saldana has come under fire from Simone's daughter Lisa Simone Kelly, among others, after a trailer appeared of the actress with blackened skin.

The trailer added fuel to a fire that took hold in 2012 when images first appeared of Saldana in make-up as Simone.

Ever since the actress stepped in to replace Mary J Blige, who pulled out due to scheduling changes, she has drawn the ire of Kelly and representatives of the family.

They claim she is too light-skinned to play the classically trained concert pianist and performer who died in 2003.

Kelly wrote that while she liked Saldana, she felt nobody was suitable for all roles. She has said she views Viola Davis or Kimberly Elise as more suitable.

Even Saldana herself has expressed doubt over her casting, telling In Style in a 2015 interview: "I didn't think I was right for the part and I know a lot people will agree; but then again, I don't think Elizabeth Taylor was right for Cleopatra either. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.