op-ed: wtf? zoe saldana thinks that “for years, nobody knew who the fuck nina simone was”

June 23, 2016

Oh, Zoe. Why can’t you just let us forget that time you disgraced Nina Simone’s legacy? Because, apparently, talking nonsense and sacrilege is more her speed. Once again opening up about her, eh, controversial casting as Nina Simone in the July issue of Allure where the afro-latina tries to flip the script on people criticizing the chose to cast Saldana as the iconic musician. When it comes to acknowledging the very real colorism and anti-blackness Simone faced because her physical appearance did not fit into society’s Euro-centric standard of beauty, back then or today, Saldana reminds us that she has no idea what she’s talking about: “If you think the [prosthetic] nose I wore was unattractive, then maybe you need to ask yourself, What do you consider beautiful?” Because, you know, articulating the ways in which western society diminishes women of color, based on looks, must be a thing we created. A personal problem.

Saldana goes on to say, “The fact that we’re talking about her, that Nina Simone is trending? We fucking won. For so many years, nobody knew who the fuck she was.“ Right, girl.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at erin@afropunk.com.