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Controversy is continuing to build around the upcoming spring biopic about legendary singer Nina Simone.

On Wednesday the trailer for Nina hit the Web and Black Twitter erupted with comments about the lead, Zoe Saldana. Many puzzled by the choice to cast Zoe, a light skinned Latina who in order to achieve Nina’s look was forced to wear a wig, prosthetic nose and dark makeup.

And while Twitter timelines flooded with reaction to the trailer, Simone’s estate fell right into the mix.

On Wednesday night, the person running the account for Nina Simone asked Zoe via social media to “take Nina’s name of your mouth” for the “rest of your life.” @NinaSimoneMusic followed up with a message to fans explaining that this is all very “painful,” “gut-wrenching” and “heartbreaking.”

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Zoe has yet to respond to the request to not speak of Simone, however, on Tuesday, she tweeted:

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Despite the criticism, Zoe is still defending her role in Nina, telling HipHollywood her intentions are pure. “I’m doing it for my sisters, I’m doing it for my brothers and I don’t care who tells me that I am not this and I am not that. I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me, so that is my truth and that set me free,” she says in an exclusive interview with

As for the film’s inevitable criticism following its release, she adds, “If it comes back in a negative fashion or a positive, I’m going to keep my chin up because that’s who I am and that’s who I’ll be and Nina was like that too. I did it all out if love, out of love for Nina, out of love for my people and who I am and my pride of being a Black woman, a Latina woman, an American woman, and that’s my truth.”


Dwyane Wade On New Heartfelt Documentary: It’s A Story “I Never Got A Chance To Tell As A Kid”



It’s been an epic week for Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union.

It first started with one of the biggest trades of the year with Wade returning back to Miami to finish the rest of the season with the Heat. “I was happy,” Wade told us on Thursday night about the trade.

He added, “The journey of the NBA took me to Chicago, it took me to Cleveland, but it also brought me back to Miami; a place from a basketball sense birthed me.”

Days following the big NBA announcement, the lovebirds then celebrated the release of Dwyane’s documentary, Shot in the Dark, which the NBA champion produced alongside Chance the Rapper.

The film follows the Orr Academy High School basketball team on Chicago’s Westside. Throughout the documentary, cameras capture the journey of individual athletes trying to make it to the NBA despite growing up in the violent streets of Chicago.

During the screening, Wade also opened up to HipHollywood about why the project was near and dear to his heart. “It’s home,” the Chicago native said. “I jumped on board right away because it’s a story being told that I never got a chance to tell as a kid. To be able to shed some positive light on a tough, dark situation for us was big.”

Union added, “I’m so proud. Coming up on Hoop Dreams … It explores so many other topics that are critical to kids in Chicago.”

As for whether or not D-Wade picked up some advice from his TV star boo, not quite. When asked what tips Union gave Wade ahead of the project, the actress told us, “None. You have to learn. Humility and school of hard knocks. Things are not going to go your way and you have to learn through experience just like the rest of us.”

Check out the documentary on February 24 on Fox Sports.

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