Its KEY

Zoe Saldana plays Elizabeth Taylor

In Communication, Griot, Movies, Networking, News, Qui Audio Byte, Self Improvement, TV Shows on October 1, 2012 at 8:15 am

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Could you imagine a biopic of Michael Jackson being portrayed by a white guy, or a biopic of Elvis Presley being portrayed by a latino or perhaps the story of Che Guevara being portrayed by a black guy?

Sure in the 1920’s during the black-and-white film era white men played the part of indians in classic American ‘cowboy and indian’ tales and let us not forget about the rise of black face in 1830 that spanned entertainment for roughly 100 years – with a whites only cast playing to a whites only audience. Who was going to protest?

Todays SAG roster hosts a plethora of fantastic actors of every race. So why are some filmmakers still opting for the ol’ switch-a-roo?

A lighter, less black version of Nina Simone is the current biopic portrayal in question. “Born the sixth child of a preacher’s family in North Carolina, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist. Her musical path changed direction after she was denied a scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition. Simone was later told by someone working at Curtis that she was rejected because she was black.” –[Wikipedia.org]

[Click here to listen to Qui say the following:]

She lived the life of a true black woman in the darkest shade of stride.
She embraced her reflection in the world and rode gracefully on the highs.

It’s only been 9 short years since Ms. Nina Simone has died;
And film producers have chose to cast her in a Dominican/Puerto Rican light.

Not that there is anything wrong with a lighter skinned sister,
But Nina was black – the sun god of Africa surely kissed her.

Cleopatra was born of Greek & Egyptian blood then portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor.
Liz’s performance was stunning, but comparable to the tanned Cleopatra? No nailer.

The importance of LIKENESS’ is important – history is always at hand.
I really couldn’t imagine MLK being portrayed by a white man.

And even though Michael J. narrowed his nose and bleached his dark skin
I couldn’t imagine a white guy playing his Jackson 5 beginning or his end.

And even though Elvis P stayed high and kept a default set of bloodshot eyes,
I couldn’t imagine casting his portrayal as a bellbottom sporting black guy.

I’m all about artistic likeness’; reeling reality is what sustains her.
I’m wondering if Elizabeth Taylors life could be portrayed by Zoe Saldana?

I’m thinking about mistold stories – if mistold enough times they will be come fact.
Imagine someone portraying Ms. Nina Simone, but the actress isn’t even black.
Don’t do that.

Everyone deserves to see history in the correct likeness, forfeiting legends and reflecting the facts.
Likeness is an important part of our historic culture – even Barbie doll manufacturers understand that.

Jill Scott recently spoke on the news that Zoe would be portraying Ms. Simone,
and commented Zoe’s a great actress, but “may need a prosthetic nose…”
Uh-Oh.

Jill also commented that Zoe Saldana may need a darker shade of foundation.
I’m Qui
Passing the mic to theeHow do you feel about the likeness of cultural relations?

If accurate depictions of icons is vastly important to you
Sign this petition before Elvis is played by a brown dude.

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  1. Denzel Washington recently gave some GOOD & WISE advise to his dark skinned daughter who is approaching the runway of acting – you can read it here: http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/11/denzel-washington-and-the-difficulties-of-being-a-dark-skinned-woman-in-hollywood/

    Check out the comments that follow the article as well. They are raw. They are real. BRAVO!

  2. Come on! We’d never cast a black guy to play Reagan or a black or mixed woman to play Marilyn Monroe — let’s keep the “likeness” thing going. Let’s portray historical icons the way that they looked when they were alive. However, Michael Jackson is a tricky one… LOL! (:

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