Despite controversy surrounding the casting of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic movie, Queen Latifah and Paula Patton have expressed their eagerness for the film, and defended Saldana (and the casting directors) against critics.

The general outcry from the critics is that Saldana is too light-skinned of an African-A merican to play Simone, with her defining dark skin and traditionally African features. Latifah and Patton urge the public to reserve their judgment until after the film.

“I think Zoe Saldana’s a great actress so I am looking forward to it,” said Latifah at the Hollywood premiere of The Perfect Match, which she helped produce. “And you know she is of African descent. I don’t see why she shouldn’t get to play the role, you know. But I just want to see it, you know, get rid of the hype let’s go watch the movie.”

Patton, similarly, has said that she is “not into negativity like that.”

On Monday she said, “I think it’s a horrible thing to put that on somebody. Clearly someone thought she was perfect for it. She’s an amazing actress, she’s beautiful, and you haven’t given her a chance and you haven’t seen it yet. So I wouldn’t want to put that kind of judgment on anything I haven’t seen, first and foremost, but most importantly imagine being in her shoes and enduring that. It’s not cool and it’s not right. I think we have to be in a place where we celebrate each other and are kind to one another and say there’s all alternate versions of the story and versions of an idea. This was a magnificent woman. Zoe is absolutely an incredible actress, so give her a shot and try to enjoy and stop judging.”

Of the critics of the movie is Simon’s daughter, who made worked with Netflix to make the Oscar-nominated documentary What Happened to Miss Simone?

Simone’s daughter has also said that “the project has been tainted from the beginning,” citing Cynthia Mort‘s decision to center the movie between a romantic relationship between Simone and her personal assistant, Clifton Henderson. Simone’s daughter says that Henderson was gay.

“This is not how you want your loved ones remembered,” she said.

Saldana’s skin has been darkened for the role and she also wears a prosthetic nose. The movie will be released on April 22.

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