Is Zoe Saldana being overlooked by the media?

Allison Samuels of entertainment blog the Daily Beast asks a pointed question: Would Zoe Saldana be on the cover of major magazines if she were white?

Poignant examples that beg an answer include the fact that Ms. Saldana was suspiciously absent from Vanity Fair magazine’s 2009 Hollywood issue…even though she had three (count ’em, three) major films in the top 20 earners –including the over the top “Avatar”. (Yes, she was animated, but that’s besides the point.)

“A brown face just doesn’t resonate with nonminorities when it’s on the cover of magazines.” –Bethann Hardison

Other examples include the ever present (read: annoying) full court press whenever someone like Angelina Jolie is in a film. Even fellow Latina Jennifer Lopez is plastered, promoted and marketed, when she’s doing a film –even though she arguably hasn’t made a good film since Selena.

“(W)hile both Beyoncé and Rihanna appear on Instyle and Glamour magazine covers this month, both women are singers, which is a more traditionally accepted role for women of color. Dominating the box office is not.”

The article gets into some basic missteps regarding race and ethnicity, but overall it’s fairly well covered. A note: Zoe Saldana has never implied that she wasn’t Black. She said that she’s not African American and she’s emphasized that her race should not matter when it comes to roles, though she’s built a solid career on Hollyhood (“Drumline,” “Guess Who,” and “Blackout” to name a few). An ethnicity is land-based, not race based. Any “race” can be an American, just like any “race” can be Latino/Hispanic. Zoe Saldana is Domincan (yes, the other side of the island is Haiti) and Puerto Rican –both places with a sizable Black/African-descent population.

Aside from the ethnicity versus race comments in the article, it’s an insightful look into the politics of image, media and race.

Read more at the Daily Beast

TRAILER: Colombiana starring Zoe Saldana

The trailer for the new movie Colombiana is out. From the director of Taken, Colombiana is set for release in the fall of 2011 and stars Zoe Saldana as Cateleya Restrepo, a hired assassin. Amandla Stenberg will play the young Cateleya Restrepo.

Amandla Stenberg will star alongside Dayo Okeniyi and Lenny Kravitz for futuristic thrilller

Young, rising star Amandla Stenberg is already busy lining up her films. As a relative newcomer, she’s already  got some top roles in major motion pictures.

Lions Gate, in conjunction with producer Color Force, is bringing author Suzanne Collins’ book (“The Hunger Games“) to the big screen. The cast is made up primarily of newcomers and unknowns, but the buzz is that this futuristic thriller will make the careers of some cast members whose roles are anchored by some of Hollywood’s elite.

Amandla Stenberg will play the role of Rue alongside Dayo Okeniyi, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, and others. According to, “The Hunger Games” is:

(i)n a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’ young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.

Amandla is also starring as the young Cataleya Restrepo (starring Zoe Saldana), an assassin in the film “Colombiana.”

Colombiana is will be released this year, and The Hunger games will be released in 2012.