“Creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness”, says Robert L. Johnson.

After numerous delays and controversy, RLJ Entertainment will release the Nina Simone biopic Nina next month. The film has garnered criticism before its release (which was originally slated for fall of 2015) due to the casting of Zoe Saldana, who some said did not fit the role based on her Dominican and Puerto Rican roots and lighter skin color.

Yesterday, after the release of the film’s first trailer, the estate of Nina Simone tweeted “Please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life” at Saldana after she responded to criticism with a quote from Simone. Now producer Robert L. Johnson, the founder of the RLJ Entertainment and the television network BET has released a statement defending the film and Saldana saying “Quality entertainment should be measured by the sheer force of creativity and the commitment that an actor or actress brings to the performance”. Read his full statement and watch the trailer for Nina below.

“Zoe Saldana delivers an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute to Nina Simone. She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent. The most important thing is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness. Quality entertainment should be measured by the sheer force of creativity and the commitment that an actor or actress brings to the performance. We are proud to distribute the film headlined by Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo on April 22, 2016.”

Latest

Latest

Share Tweet