I’ve come to realize that I love watching biographical films. They are fascinating and much more interesting than any other genre in my opinion. I remember watching the biographical film of Nina Simone, which is called Nina. The film was okay, it could have been better, but I’m not here to talk about the deliverance of the film. Let’s discuss the actress who was playing Nina Simone: Zoe Saldana.
Saldana is clearly light skinned. Yet, Nina Simone was a dark skinned woman. Ask yourself this, why would a director choose a light skinned woman to play a dark skinned woman? Or how is that even possible? Or better yet, why didn’t the director look for an actress who is dark skinned? This is what frustrated me when I watched the film. They (the people who created the film) made Saldana dark. How you may ask? I do not know but it did not look good at all.
Representation matters of course. It matters especially when it comes to films and television shows. We all know two important things. One, we know that Hollywood tends to casts lighter skinned women for certain roles for Black women. Two, we know that when it comes to filming a movie where the character is dark skinned, Hollywood chooses a light skinned woman. Now, wait a second. I’m not slandering light skinned women. Oh no, honey. As a Black woman myself, I will always support my fellow Black sisters.
However, as a dark skinned Black woman, I am not represented well in films and television shows. Yes, there’s Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o, and Uzo Aduba. But let’s take a second and think about our favorite television shows. If there’s a Black woman in that television show, is she light skinned, brown skinned, or dark skinned? Now, if you do have a favorite television in which there is a dark skinned Black woman, how is she being portrayed? Negatively? Angry? Loud? What about a light skinned Black woman? How is she being portrayed? Positively? Calm? Think about this.
There are films and television shows in which there are little to no Black actresses AND actors. Yes. I’m very serious. Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Oh, may I ask, is that show diverse? Have you noticed any Black characters? Oh wow, you’ve noticed only two Black characters? You see where I’m going with this? I have never watched the show, but I’ve seen trailers and that’s enough for me to presume that it’s not diverse.
I am all for my black brothers and sisters who are on the big screen. Especially since, we are not casted that often. But from my point above, Hollywood needs to do better. REPRESENTATION MATTERS.
Say it with me: REPRESENTATION MATTERS.