In response to the recent controversy regarding Zoe Saldana’s portrayal of Nina Simone in the biopic ‘Nina’ Judge Greg Mathis has released the following statement

The recent controversy involving Zoe Saldana’s altered appearance in her portrayal of Nina Simone for the upcoming biopic Nina provides a teachable moment on the interracial divisions that have plagued descendants of African slaves for hundreds of years.

Ultimately, this discussion reflects differing opinions on skin tone accuracy among Black actors portraying real life Blacks of a different hue.

Zoe Saldana is unquestionably of African ancestry being part Dominican, Puerto Rican and Haitian. Thus, this is no blackface issue where Black stereotypes are conveyed by Whites wearing black makeup. This conversation revisits the historic and painful divisions of people of African descent based upon black skin tone.

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