Nina Simone’s Estate Slams Zoe Saldana: Take Her Name ‘Out Your Mouth’

Nina Simone's estate is not happy with Zoe Saldana, who will play the late singer in the upcoming biopic Nina. The official Twitter account for Simone lashed out at the actress on Wednesday, March 2.

"'I'll tell you what freedom is to me — No Fear … I mean really, no fear.' #NinaSimone," Saldana, 37, wrote, quoting Simone.

Simone's estate replied: ".@zoesaldana Cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life."

Saldana was cast in the film in 2012, which didn't sit well with many critics. Some reportedly were annoyed that the actress — Dominican and Puerto Rican — would portray the late African American star, who died at 70 in April 2003. Some also point out that she has lighter skin than Simone.

A post shared by Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) on

Saldana responded to the casting backlash during an interview with Latina magazine in April 2013. "People are going to want to outcast you and put you someplace, and it's like, you can have any opinion about it, and that is fine, as long as you understand that it's going to come second to how I feel about myself," she said at the time. "I was already a part of this project and my priority was Nina, and the love that I feel for this woman, for her music and what she left us. Let's all give ourselves a chance to watch it and then make a decision."

Zoe Saldana attends the 22nd Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards.
Zoe Saldana attends the 22nd Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards. Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for ELLE

Controversy continues to follow the project today. The trailer for the movie was released this week, and, according to reports, some believe that Saldana darkened her skin for the role and wore a prosthetic nose.

Simone's estate appeared to address the trailer on Thursday. "Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful," the account posted. "Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now … "

Nina is set to hit theaters on April 22.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!