NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The long awaited — and criticized — biopic of jazz singer Nina Simone is set to hit theaters next month.
There has been a lot of controversy over the casting of Zoe Saldana to play the songwriter because she is a different ethnicity than Simone.READ MORE: New York City's Vaccine Mandate Could Impact Nets Season, As Irving Reportedly Not Getting Shot
Film and TV critic Rebecca Theodore told CBS2’s Jill Nicolini she is outraged over Saldana’s casting, saying the singer’s daughter disapproves as well.
“I think it’s the appearance with the darker makeup and the prosthetics with the nose and the hair,” Theodore said.
“There is a lot of controversy over Zoe playing Nina. First off, Zoe is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent; Nina is of African American descent,” said Jennifer Peros, senior news editor at “Entertainment Tonight.”
But not everyone agrees with the criticism.
“They’re going to pass judgement no matter who you are nowadays,” said James Stanford, of Bayside. “I’m an old-fashioned Black American male, so let her do it.”
“Zoe was in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and she was green!” said David Sharky, of Chelsea.
Saldana took to Twitter and quoted Nina Simone talking about freedom.READ MORE: Some Health Care Workers Still Defiant As New York State Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect
But her tweet got an angry response from Simone’s estate.
“There was some movement on social media last night from Nina’s estate that is running her verified Twitter account,” said Peros.
Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairmain of RLJ Entertainment, who is distributing the film said “…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…”
There has also been controversy over the casting in the film “Ghost in the Shell,” which is set to hit theaters next year. Originally, it was an animated movie with Japanese characters, but now Scarlett Johansson has been cast in a lead role.MORE NEWS: Manhunt Underway After Suspect Escapes Custody At Bellevue Hospital