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#BackChannel: The Color And Character Of Hollywood After #OscarsSoWhite

Last month, comedian Chris Rock hosted the Oscars amid controversy around the awards' lack of diversity. Rock's jokes jabbed at the Academy Awards lack of recognition for any actors of color.

But controversy around race in Hollywood continued after Rock's performance. The new biopic "Nina" depicts the struggles of iconic musician Nina Simone, a singer and civil rights activist. But critics say the movie disgraces Simone's legacy because lead actress Zoe Saldana used dark makeup to change her light-skinned complexion. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with pop culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown, professor of film and broadcast media at St. Augustine's University, and Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African & African American studies at Duke University, about the way the stories of African American icons are told.

Nina Simone performing "Ain't Got No, I Got Life":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5jI9I03q8E&list=RDL5jI9I03q8E

"Nina" trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3EWygLE_No

"Miles Ahead" trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqq63ZJ5q3w

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Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.