The issue of diversity in the U.S. has always been an issue. Back in the day, men used to play female roles and now that women play roles, people have an issue with the way they look, in particular with the color of their skin. That’s a big issue in the Latino community, especially when it comes to Afro-Latinas. They have a beautiful Afro and are amazing actresses, but people have an issue with the color of their skin, especially the light-skinned Afro-Latinas like Zoe Saldana and Jeimy Osorio.
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Zoe Saldana plays Nina Simone in the biopic called Nina and the actress came under fire when she posted a Simone quote on Twitter. The Simone Twitter replied, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life.” The issue that they have is the color of Zoe Saldana’s skin. They think she’s too light-skinned and that someone more dark-skinned and of African-descent should have played this role instead of Saldana who is Puerto Rican and Dominican.
Nina Simone’s brother Sam Waymon told the New York Daily News, “It’s an insult, to our people and their struggle and to all the things that Nina stood for in her music and all the things she stood for in her life. It takes a lot of guts and gall to do that,” adding that it’s “what we consider blackface.” They suspect that Saldana’s skin was darkened to match that of Simone’s.
Puerto Rican actress Jeimy Osorio played Cuban singer Celia Cruz in the series Celia!, and she too is a light-skinned. “As actresses, we are blank canvasses. We give up completely our nationality and the color of our skin for every role,” said Osorio to Billboard Magazine.