Saldana posted a quote from the singer and civil rights activist on Twitter, and Simone’s estate responded with: “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life.”
“My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark,” Kelly told the New York Times in a 2012 interview.
The Simone estate tweeted Wednesday: “Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now…”
The singer’s estate cooperated with producers of the Netflix documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?” which was nominated for an Oscar this year.
Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of the studio releasing “Nina,” describes Saldana’s performance as “an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute.”
“She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent,” he said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
Representatives for Saldana and the Simone estate did not respond to requests for comment Thursday from The Associated Press.
RLJ Entertainment will release “Nina” in theaters, digital HD and video on demand on April 22.