RLJ Entertainment

The Nina Simone biopic, titled Nina, has received a lot of backlash prior to its release next month, which mainly surrounds the casting of Zoe Saldana. On Thursday (March 3), director Cynthia Mort responded to the controversy.

“Zoe gave an amazingly courageous and great performance. I think that’s all that should matter," was Mort's brief response given to Entertainment Weekly.

Both fans and Nina Simone's relatives alike have expressed their unhappy reservations with Saldana (who is Puerto Rican and Dominican) portraying the African-American singer. Yesterday, the legendary artist's estate posted this Twitter response to Saldana: "Cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life."

Nina hits theaters on April 22. Flip through our Future Black History Month content from February, which highlights black celebrities who are making strides in their fields.