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Apparently, Black folks playing Black folks is a problem in Hollywood too. Actress Zoe Saldana is dealing with that reality following the trailer debut of Nina, an upcoming spring biopic about legendary singer Nina Simone.

Zoe’s casting of Miss Simone was bashed nearly four years ago when it was first announced, and unfortunately for her, nothing has changed following the release of the trailer. That’s mainly because, in what has to be a form of ironic Blackface, Saldana wears a wig, prosthetic nose and dark makeup to achieve Nina’s celebrated features in the film.

Nina

As Hollywood’s lack of diversity remains a hot button issue, many are wondering why producers didn’t hire someone with features similar to Simone’s to play the role instead of dressing up Saldana. The trailer and official poster has Black Twitter baffled, and many have not been kind in the hours following the assets release.

But Zoe is 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 HipHollywood.com.

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.”

Nina is in theaters this April. You can check out the trailer below.

FILMS

Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Octavia Spencer & More … Is This The New Cast For “Black Panther 2”?

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We’re still reeling from the high of Black Panther’s recording setting debut — pulling in $241 million opening weekend — however, we can’t help but think about the future and what could be in store for BP2.

While we’d want to see the original cast reprise their roles, we think these celebs could be a great addition to the group. Why, you ask? Because when Black Panther dropped they put their money where they mouth was and bought out theaters for kids to see the film. That deserves a little screen time in the sequel, right?

All right, maybe they won’t make it on the big screen for Black Panther 2, but here’s the list of stars who talk the talk and walk the walk, so we want to show them some luv…

Gabrielle Union & Dwyane Wade – The Wade’s post on Instagram about the importance of “Black Panther.” They also partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Miami, Omaha & Watts to send 100 kids from each club to see the film.

Octavia Spencer – Octavia also hopped on Instagram to give families from Jackson, MS, and surrounding areas, a chance to see the Marvel movie.

Snoop Dogg – Uncle Snoop was so moved by Frederick Joseph, the New York-based philanthropist, who started the #BlackPantherChallenge encouraging people to donate to a GoFundMe page that would help provide children in Harlem with the opportunity to see BP, that he decided to do the dame for kids in LA. “I’m going to donate some money to the cause for the kids to check it out and also I’m going to reach out to the homeboy Ryan Coogler so that we can get an L.A. version of that so that kids in L.A. can go see a superhero movie and learn about a real black superhero,” Snoop stated. Not to be outdone, Viola Davis also took part in the challenge and sent kids in Austin to see the superhero flick.

Serena Williams – The tennis champ, and new mommy/wife, surprised a group of young ladies from Black Girls Code in San Francisco with a private screening of Black Panther on Thursday night. Her hubby Alexis Ohanian captured the sweet moment on IG.

T.I. – The ATL rapper teamed up with Walmart to give away 300 tickets for an advanced screening of Black Panther last week in his hometown. “I think it’s imperative to know that there’s greatness inside of all of us and our children should know that early — that there’s greatness inside of them and that they all possess superhero-like qualities that will allow them to change the world. All they have to do is activate it,” T.I. said at the screening, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Offset & Lil Yachty – Not only have the two rappers teamed up for a new song (“Truck Load”), but they also took time out to join force for a philanthropic effort. The pair hit up El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday, where “This is Us” writer Jas Waters set up a fully-funded screening for 500 foster and at-risk children. According to Waters, Offset and Yachty surprised the fans and ended up buying out the rest of the theatre!

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