Zoe Saldana called out for reported comments on Afro-Dominicans
The actress took to her Instagram stories to speak out against an educational Refinery29 post
Zoe Saldana is being called out for her reported comments surrounding an educational Instagram post on Afro-Dominicans and Dominican Independence Day.
Refinery29’s Somos is seeking to “elevate, educate, and inspire a new generation of change-makers committed to LatinX visibility.” Through their editorial content and social media posts, they share vital information and celebrate LatinX culture.
For Dominican Independence Day, the official Somos account shared an educational post on what the holiday means to Afro-Dominican people.
Actress Zoe Saldana is now in hot water after commenting on the post and sharing her thoughts on her Instagram stories.
In a controversial comment, Saldana wrote under Somos’ picture, “Maybe just say ‘What to the Dominican is the Independence Day.’” The comment immediately got heat, with fans responding to the actress with confusion and frustration with her sentiments.
She then wrote in an Instagram story featuring a screenshot of the post, “You owe all Dominicans — regardless if their [sic] Black, white, or Taino — an apology. On our independence day, we do not need to be schooled by others on what we “should’ know about ourselves.”
Fans have since taken to social media to call out Saldana on her comments. One fan wrote, “Zoe Saldana really thinks she’s white, I’m convinced. Bye girl. Tf are you mad for??”
Another fan was quick to point out Saldana’s controversial portrayal of Nina Simone, writing, “Not Zoe Saldana being mad about a post showing the history of black Dominicans lol. The same Zoe Saldana that used black face to play a dark-skinned black woman. Whew.”
Thatiana Diaz of Refinery29 wrote a follow-up piece entitled, Dear Zoe Saldaña: I’m A Proud Dominican. I Also Want To See Us Address Anti-Blackness. In it, Diaz breaks down the actress’s response to the Instagram post and even details the threats she has received due to Saldana’s actions.
Diaz writes, “Saldaña is a celebrity with over seven million followers. Her words have power. Because of her posts calling for my contrition, I’ve received death threats and ongoing harassment from her fans. We were forced to disable comments on our Instagram post in order to be mindful of the wellbeing of our followers, whose comments in support of our post opened them up to harassment as well.”
Diaz also connects this instance to the current conversation at large when it comes to anti-Blackness within all communities, writing, “Dismantling anti-Blackness is not cancel culture. It’s also certainly not exclusive to the Dominican experience. At Somos, we’ve addressed anti-Blackness across Latinidad from Panama to El Salvador to Colombia…When you centre Blackness in discussing history, people get angry.”
Diaz concludes by revealing that while Saldana is calling for it, they will not be apologizing for their educational post.
She explains, “Saldaña called on us to apologize, but we will not apologize for working to dismantle the anti-Blackness that exists within Latinidad. Part of that is making it clear that we’re also not here to cancel Saldaña either in part because she’s shown a capacity to learn and grow…
‘The sun will always continue to shine on la bella quisqueya,’ she wrote on Instagram Stories. But practicing real love means looking in the shadows, too.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!