Colorism and Hollywood

Over the past few weeks Zoe Saldana has been thrust into the spotlight in a negative manner due to the fact that she was cast in a movie to play Nina Simone. Through no fault of her own, a debate is brewing across the web about how she (a light skinned mixed Latina/Black woman) should not have been cast to play a dark skinned African American with no noticeable racial mixture! Some say “it’s just a movie”, some feel it’s a slap in the face of dark skinned actresses, and I side with the latter. They’re acting as if there are no dark skinned actresses that are capable of playing the role and filling the seats also.

How about Kimberly Elise, Viola Davis, Anika Noni Rose, or Alfre Woodard. Mary J Blige would have been a better choice than Zoe. They could even get an up and coming actress to play the role, anybody but someone that shows no physical resemblance to Nina at all!

I believe that the producers that cast this movie need to take a step back and do some research on colorism and how this looks through the eyes of Black Women before they proceed to film this project in Oct. We understand that it’s about money and who you think will fill the seats when the movie is released but you’re alienating a huge swath of people that may have paid to see the movie. this type of movie has a limited audience anyway, so alienating over half of the potential pool before you even get started isn’t good business. .

There’s already a petition being circulated on (click here) to have Zoe removed as the lead and if it isn’t done, you’ll probably be seeing boycott Nina petitions when the movie is finally released. Heed the warning now and don’t invest millions of dollars into the movie to only have it flop at the box office. I know that Mr Iovine and Mrs Mort probably won’t listen but it will be to their detriment.

Here’s a question for you; if Terrance Howard was cast to play Elvis, Don Cheadle was cast to play Bon Jovi , or Denzel (no need for a last name) was cast to play Frank Sinatra, wouldn’t that make you feel a certain type of way. Especially when you know that there are plenty of white male actors that could play the role!