Nina Simone's family was less than pleased after Zoe Saldana was cast as the late singer for the 2016 biographical drama, Nina.

"Please take Nina's name out your mouth," Simone's estate wrote to Saldana on Twitter. "For the rest of your life." Now, Saldana has expressed regret in taking the role.

"I should have never played Nina," Saldana said in an interview with Stephen Canals for BeseBese. "The leverage that I had 10 years ago [was] a different leverage but it was leverage nonetheless. I should have tried everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman."

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Music Lists

Happy Birthday, Elliott Smith: The Indie Rock Legend's 10 Best Songs

The singer-songwriter would have been 51 today.

JJ Gonson

Today, August 6, 2020, Elliott Smith would have turned 51 years old.

Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised in north Texas, and spent a good portion of his life in Portland, Oregon before settling in Los Angeles. Before his sudden and mysterious death in 2003, the prolific singer-songwriter released five studio albums of poignant, rootsy indie rock, with his sixth studio album and a compilation of rarities being released posthumously. He became known for his dismal lyrics—often referencing his mental health and substance abuse habits—and his distinctively whispery vocals, which he often double-tracked to create an eerie, textured ambiance.

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Culture News

It's Harry Potter's 40th Birthday and J.K. Rowling Still Sucks

We can celebrate the Boy Who Lived while still advocating for transgender rights.

Today, July 31, 2020, is Harry Potter's 40th birthday.

Harry Potter might be one of the most successful franchises of all time, but Harry's birthday this year comes coded with some recent statements made by J.K. Rowling. The author's xenophobic tweets have made her, arguably, one of the most powerful TERFsor trans-exclusionary radical feminists—in pop culture today.

Rowling has been known to make some unusual remarks before—remember that time she said Dumbledore was gay, despite having never depicted his sexuality in the books?—but her TERF shenanigans are by far her most infuriating. Last December, Rowling received a wave of backlash after tweeting in support of Maya Forstater, an English woman who lost her job after posting a series of tweets questioning government plans to let people declare their own gender.

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