Robert L. Johnson stepped up to the plate to defend Zoe Saldana’s role in the Nina Simone biopic, Nina. Johnson, who founded BET, is also the chairman and founder of RLJ Entertainment company, the studio that is distributing the film.
According to Indiewire, Johnson believes the actress should be judged by her work, not by her looks, even though the “looks” involve layers of heavy makeup and a prosthetic nose.
“Zoe Saldana delivers an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute to Nina Simone. She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent. 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. Quality entertainment should be measured by the sheer force of creativity and the commitment that an actor or actress brings to the performance. We are proud to distribute the film headlined by Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo on April 22, 2016,” Johnson stated.
It’s interesting to note that it took a while to find someone to distribute the film, which could have a lot to do with the fact that no one wanted to touch it with a 10-foot pole.