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India Arie Slams Zoe Saldana As Nina Simone: 'Looks Like A Person In Black(er) Face With A Fake Nose’

//india arie slams zoe saldana

Nov. 7 2012, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

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By Radar Staff

Singer India Arie has waded into the controversy about Zoe Saldana’s portrayal of jazz legend Nina Simone, saying the Avatar star looks "weird" in the prosthetics being used to alter her appearance.

For months the makers of the biopic Nina have been slammed for choosing the actress to play the singer who died nine years ago at the age of 70.

The major criticism is that the 34-year-old is not dark enough to play a woman whose own daughter noted on Facebook "was told her nose was too big and she was too dark."

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Now Arie has added her voice to the controversy. In an article posted on NinaSimone.com Arie was so angry that she capitalized some of her words – the written equivalent of shouting.

"SO TODAY I saw the images of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone…" she wrote.

"Yes there should be a movie made, and YES they should have chosen someone who LOOKS like Nina Simone, ESPECIALLY since her RACE played such a PIVOTAL role in WHO, WHAT and WHY she was.

"THAT ASIDE for a second, this just looks WEIRD, it looks like a person in Black(er) face with a fake nose…REALLY?!!!!"

She added: "THIS looks like a parody. If it has to be FORCED this hard something’s not right!"

Calling herself Simone’s "physical heir apparent" Arie claims her comments are not a case of sour grapes, adding that the on-the-set photos of Saldana just "make me feel…SAD."

On a more positive note Arie says she trusts "Zoe Saldana can pull off the portrayal ENERGETICALLY."

Nevertheless the singer says, in her opinion, "VIOLA DAVIS should be playing Nina Simone."

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