Friday, March 04, 2016

"Make her ugly, dammit!"

The family of Nina Simone (left) is having a fit that Zoe Zaldana (right) was cast to play the singer in a biopic.

Simone's dark complexion and traditionally African features were central to her identity and concept of black beauty, so casting someone with Saldana's more European appearance is galling, said Miriam J. Petty, an assistant professor in the radio-television-film department at Northwestern University.

"It's disrespectful and demonstrates the depth of the ignorance of the person making the film of the very subject of the film," she said.

The Simone estate tweeted Wednesday: "Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing."

Why would you want to choose Nina Simone as a representative of having a classical African look?  These Afrocentrists seem to be saying that "black is ugly." The moviemakers are trying to help. They want to avoid the embarrassment of making a movie that no one watches because of an homely lead.


Steve Johnson said...

Well yeah, you do have to make her ugly.

One of the most important factors in how a woman's life is going to go is how attractive she is. I know nothing about Nina Simone except that her music is pretty good but is far overrated by people who are looking to signal virtue by (talking about) listening to it but I'll bet that the events in her life wouldn't make sense if they happened to a pretty woman.

It's supposed to be a biopic, right?

As far as consistency goes - yer kidding, right? Complain now, worry about the logical implications later (or never).

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone is going to watch or not watch a Nina Simone movie because of Zoe Saldana, and her beauty, to be honest.

Physical resemblance is a tough cookie for biopics.

Take Idris Elba's Nelson Mandela picture. He look nothing like the guy. Mandela had a easy smiling light skinned, almost East Asian like face, strongly marked by the genes of the native San and Khoi people of Southern Africa. Elba has a strongly West African face, deep set, sad eyes, a very dark skin colour. The two men look almost nothing alike, aside from height.

Now did that contribute to that biopic sinking like a lead balloon, as much as it was intended to be Oscar bait? Probably.

Although note, no blacktivists getting on the case of that picture, talking about how Elba was too dark to play the role. Only pushback on that unsuitable actor was from actual South African black actors, but blacks from Western developed countries would never give a shit about applying the same rules to them.

Ron Guhname said...

I would never watch a movie for Idris Elba, but for Zoe Saldana, damn straight. I've seen at least two movies of hers that were bad but didn't even notice.