Zoe Saldana Presents (But Doesn’t Win) At Kid’s Choice Awards + Talks Discrimination In New Interview

Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana was nominated for two awards (for her work in Avatar) at the 23rd Annual Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, held tonight in Los Angeles. In the end Zoe came away without any awards, but she was on hand to present. Saldana also talked about racial discrimination it a new cover story interview. Details, photos and video below.


Saldana at Kid’s Choice Awards

Zoe Saldana was nominated for Favorite Movie Actress at the Kids Choice Awards held tonight at the UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. However, she lost out to Miley Cyrus. Saldana’s Avatar character Neytiri along with Sam Worthington’s character Jake, were nominated for Cutest Couple, but they lost out to Jacob and Bella (Taylor Lautner & Kristen Stewart) from The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Although the actress came away empty handed, she was there (joined by Robert Downey Jr.) to present the award Favorite Movie. The winner was Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.

Saldana and Downey at 2010 Kid’s Choice Awards

Although Star Trek was nominated for a number of People’s Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards, there were no nominations for Star Trek at the Kid’s Choice Awards. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (written by Trek scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) was nominated for Favorite Movie. The other nominees for Favorite Movie were The Twilight Saga: New Moon
, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the aforementioned winning Chipmunks movie. A full list of nominees and winners is available at nick.com

Saldana on the ‘orange carpet’ at 2010 Kid’s Choice Awards

Saldana on the ‘orange carpet’ at 2010 Kid’s Choice Awards

Saldana Nylon Cover – Talks discrimination

In other Saldana news, she is on yet another April magazine cover. Previously we reported she is on the covers of Essence and Glamour magazines, but she is also on the cover of Nylon Magazine. You can see a photo gallery read an excerpt from her cover story at nylonmag.com where she reveals "I love sex and rock ‘n roll. You have no idea."

Zoe on cover of April issue of Nylon

Nylon has a quote from Saldana on Hollywood casting where the actress claims to have been the victim of discrimination do to her skin color:

"When they say ‘We want to go white,’ they have a very smooth way of saying it, and the recent one is the word traditional.  [I’ve heard] ‘Oh, you know, you’re just not what we were looking for, your skin is a little darker.’  Compared to what?!  My skin is just my skin.  It’s dark if you compare it to someone who’s lighter.”

Nylon has also put  out video clips from their interview and cover shoot with Saldana.

Photos: Wire Image



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Geez, Alvin movie of the year fer kids? This was a concept n kids record back in the 60s when i was a kid-they were that popular? Then again Trek is also about as old as the chipmunks-oh well–i remember having their red colored xmas lp-

I’d say kids have no taste, but that’s always been true. However I think its actually somewhat worse now than when I was a kid.

For those of us who didn’t tune in: can anyone explain Robert Downey Jr’s eyebrows in that picture?

#2: It’s probably down to a difference in effort … I mean, back in your day, to watch a crappy movie you had to mow 900 lawns using a secondhand toothbrush, fend off Nazis to keep what you saved, then walk barefoot through six feet of snow to get to the movie theater. :)

My kids, 9 and 7, were mesmerized by the the new Chipmunks film, as they were with the first.

“Star Trek” suffers with young kids because the franchise typically “shuts down” between films. No animated series or PR. This differs from every other similar movie franchise. Star Wars, Iron, Man, X-Men and Spider-Man, among others, keep our kids occupied on Saturday mornings or on CN/Nickolodeon, but Star Trek will now die, only to be re-born/re-launched again in 2012 with much money devoted to re-familiarizing people with the characters they’ve forgotten.

#3: They aren’t eyebrows. They’re flip-up sunglasses. Look at the thumbnail and it’ll make sense.

#6: Oh, thank god. I thought he was doing some bizarre Groucho Marx tribute :)

“I love sex and rock ‘n roll. You have no idea.”

We have so much in common. Why oh why don’t you know I exist?

Yeah, I can really see how racism has held Zoe back in her career!

Give me a break! What a pile of crap!

#9: She’s not saying it’s held “her” back necessarily, but it is definately something that black actresses hear on a regular basis, and she has heard it in her career . . “We want someone more traditional” is the phrase they use, and it basically means “Your black skin doesn’t appeal to america, so it won’t sell tickets. We’re looking for a white girl.”

Happens all the time, unless the script happens to include a black female character written specificially for the role.


Just like all the white actors rejected from consideration for playing Ray Charles! This is total bulls**t!!

When you’re right for the part, you’re right FOR THE PART!!!


We’re not talking about roles written for a specific race for specific reasons. Ray Charles and Johnny Cash have nothing to do with this discussion.

I agree it should be “When you’re right for the part, you’re right for the part!!!”, but in the real world it doesn’t work that way. Black actors don’t usually win roles where the race of the character isn’t important. All things being equal, they will go with the white actress because they are more “traditional” and “will appeal to the widest audience.” The best a black actor/actress can hope for is the role sidekick to the white actor/actress.

Right or wrong, that’s the way it goes.

#9, 10, 11

It is true there is a certain level of discrimination, although it is now easing off.

Take a look at Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury – a white guy in comics.
Michael Clark Duncan as King Pin – looks just like his comic counterpart except dark but they went with it coz he was the man.
Still they are only peripheral characters, not main ones.

Can Will Smith do Cap America – hell ya he can, better than all the actors that tested for it and the guy that finally got it…that’s a true test for a studio…

Still there is nothing wrong with going for a guy who looks exactly like his comic counterpart, right down to the complexion..as long as he is the best actor for the role or ““When you’re right for the part, you’re right for the part!!!”

Good points-ya have to admit there are far fewer roles in movies tv etc for minorities male or female-zoe thanx to trek09 n avatar is now very noticeable n at the top of her game,black or white-she deserves to be there as well–i cant wait for the enhanced dvd for avatar to see zoes acting side by side with the cg-

– I would like to see a dark Trek series with an asian captain..

..with a warbird replaceing..Enterprise…

Or a space station instead of the enterprise…oh wait Star Trek does do this..if nothing else does Star Trek is always infront in this sort of thing, which is good.

You’re right on BadJokeman. If a role is not written specifically for someone of a particular ethnicities, then color-blind casting is still rare. Fortunately it’s a little bit better than it was decades ago when even parts that were written for different ethnicities would likely go to white people. George Takei talks about this in his book, with Alec Guinness. Movies like West Side Story and The Good Earth, and TV shows like Kung Fu did the same thing.

But even today, diverse casts are usually symbolic of something epic, which is why they populate shows like Heroes and Lost, genre shows that cite Star Trek as a major influence. It’s color-blind in one sense, but a very deliberate choice in another.

I know for a fact that there is *some* effort being made. In 2004 NBC started something called Stand Up for Diversity, part of their diversity initiative. I was a part of the best of 2004: http://www.standupnbc.com/alumni.php http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmVUderXv8Y

But there is a long way to go.

The bad news is i can’t help with the rock n roll.

Racism is not dead, alas. But, Hollywood has many OTHER ways to tell you you’re not getting a part. Mostly, it’s looks. Honestly, I don’t know what the answer here is, either. It’s an entire industry built on superficiality. And there have been disastrous movies cast based on looks. How many people think the chick in Watchmen could act her way outta that rubber suit? Someone please then explain Zoe DesChanel’s entire career to me, if it isn’t based solely on looks. Unfortunately, we’re also seeing a Hollywood press machine at work. I don’t know for a fact that Zoe S. has hit racism. But, by God, if there’s a way to work it into a story, it’ll be there… along with sex and rock ‘n roll.

#20 – It sure seems as if Zoe Saldana has encountered racism – I doubt you can find any black in America who hasn’t. Maybe they haven’t noticed it or identified it, but they have. I have lived in the South, Midwest, West, and Northeast – and all of those areas have racism which manifested in different ways and different scales, but it was definately there (Ohio and Pennsylvania were by far the most racist – and dangerous because it wasn’t out in the open in the same way as it was in the South) – as far as hollywood, perhaps the producers are trying to work a formula what they view as the racism in the rest of the country – which they are so out of touch with. But an average looking white actress probably has a harder time getting roles than Saldana does – so what does that say?

As far as Watchmen, I was happy that the actress didn’t have to find some way to act out of the rubber suit, and instead just took it off — Z. Snyder clearly was going to other aspects for Laurie than her acting range. He wasn’t likely to get a known actress to sign for the role, and what he required in the role probably eliminated a number of acresses as well, and also, he didn’t want known actors in these roles.

As for Zooey Deschanel’s career is not based on looks, she is not some bombshell, she is cute, but her success is due to some weird quirkiness in her style and personality as well as something that you can’t figure out in her voice which makes her so unique.

Saldana’s right.

Such attitudes do not go away overnight.

Two years ago, America had a “Planet of Galactic Peace” moment. Our bold new era of post-racial enlightenment lasted for a good, oh, five seconds I think.

With regards to Hollywood specifically, it still very common to have productions set in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Miami, and Washington DC with an 80 to 90 percent white cast. And about the same ratio of extras as well. That’s not to say absolute parity is a requirement for a work of fiction. I am not suggesting the studios impose some sort of census based quota. However, there does come a point when the lack of diversity strains credulity.

#22, yes and even Star Trek did it. Though many will argue for its racial diversity, I was thoroughly underwhelmed by it. No women in powerful positions, few actors of other races, only Sulu and Uhura had major roles (with Uhura doing double duty as the sole representative leading female and black actor), and they really stood out for me against a sea of white extras. While the recent Time Machine movie was set millions of years in the future, I was struck by the depiction of humanity as a single mixed race. While 350 years from now it would likely not be so marked, there would still be a lot more people with mixed heritages than today. So intentional or not, I definitely got the impression Hollywood was alive and well in the casting process of what is supposed to be one of the more progressive franchises going. What disturbs me is that with all the opportunities to reboot the franchise, they seemed to stick hard and fast to NBC’s original vision of Aryans in space.

On a personal note, I think black actors are constantly subjected to stereotype racism. I have a good friend who is very talented actress, and has been cast opposite actors such as Will Smith. But she has been dismissed with far less euphemistic excuses, telling her to her face she was not “black” enough, referring to her attitude. However, there is constant pressure to avoid the sun lest her skin actually get darker and cost her roles for being too black.

Why is it that todays press feels the need to bring up discrimination everytime they interview a person of color? To keep it in the limelight and prove to the world how evil the “white” man really is? Put a lid on it, for christ sake, its old and boring now! I live in the real world, and all races at one time or another in history were enslaved to other races. My god, how can we progress when the past will never be let go.

Zoey is beautiful. Downey is the man.

Nuff said.

What are those flip up sunglasses called, i want to find them

I really like Zoe Saldana. I really do. But she needs to consider the fact that she is succeeding in Hollywood at least partially because she is beautiful and slender. If she was average-looking and overweight, her career would have been over before it even started. The actress who won awards for her role in “Precious” will probably never be heard from again simply because of her weight. Meanwhile, a lot of male actors like John Goodman and others don’t have to lose weight or fit a certain mold to play a part because of this double standard. I do think racism is overstated in Hollywood these days. I would say sexism and gender stereotyping play a much bigger role. I’m sure racism in Hollywood still lives in some form; just not as much as it used to. Sexism is a much bigger problem because of tabloids and late-night comics trashing actresses over their weight. Hollywood is an all-boys club where men run the studios and dictate which actresses get which parts.

#AJ you are sooo right about that. They need to at least put out an animated show like Star Wars The Clone Wars. Other things could be done as well. But it seems that even novels based on Star Trek 09 are off limits. Wrong thinking IMO.


I can understand the reluctance on the part of CBS to do another live action series, but an animated series would be worth a shot. Cheaper to make than a live action series, ability to have non-humanoid crew members and the chance to bring more kids into the fold. Plus, animation is cool. And it would tide fans over until the sequel comes out.
And if the show fails, it wouldn’t be as big a problem than if a new live action series gets cancelled after a few episodes.

#29 yeah that sounds about right to me, but Im sure that the studeo has its “logic” about Star Trek. CBS needs help, ANY help it can get at this point lol. Even an Star Trek cartoon would be a step up for them. And like you say what do they have to lose?


Especially if it ties in with the J.J verse as well as the prime timeline.
Such as adventures involving the U.S.S Kelvin. Of course, it might end up suffering from “Star Wars” prequel syndrome in that we know the fate of the Kelvin and its crew. But its an idea. :-)

#26: They’re made by Oliver Peoples. The exact model is the Sheldrake. Robert Downey Jr. has a custom pair so you won’t be able to find those exact ones, but the standard models come pretty close.

Which movie was better?

“Wild Wild West” with it’s political correctness casting of Wil Smith -or-
“Maverick” with Mel Gibson?

My vote is for the traditional casting. There’s something about black cowboys that just reek “Blazing Saddles”.

How are we to become color blind with terms like “traditional” boulderdash! We also bring up the past regularly in hopes of not repeating it. People are people. Color means nothing. God created diversity. And he never makes junk.

If I was a casting director in Hollywood right now, I’d cast Zoe in a heartbeat. Miley Cyrus? Seriously? Yeck!

#11 Harry, I hear they turned Zoe down for the Lois Lane role on Smallville in favor of Erica Durance. The excuse was, we’re going in a different direction………..

BTW Everyone, Zoe has to say she’s been a victom of racism. If not, a movement in the black community would accuse her of being an (Uncle Tom, Aunt Jamima whatever…..). It would be said she wasn’t “down for the struggle” or “she isn’t black enough” or “she isn’t a real sister”. In other words, those who make their living off of racism would make her life difficult, and she wouldn’t be invited to prominant African American events, or in a sense, shunned by the African American Community. How do I know this you say? Candidate Obama faced these same questions from mainstream media early on in his campaign for President.

One of the visions of Trek will never materialize until we are all just Americans. Not American Indians, African Americans, Irish Americans, Italion Americans. This is a great country, it has its flaws, but only speaking for myself, I’m Proud To Be An American.


Lore, if you want to call casting someone with NO talent “going in a different direction”.

Ah, the “Tom Cruise” approach to making movies! Another no talent hack!

Okay, as far as Zoe’s comments about the ugly secret of racism in Hollywood, I really think she’s blaming a conspiracy that isn’t there. The producers are the ones putting up the money, or are the ones being entrusted by the studio to spend the money, that being said, if they want to cast white actors and actresses it is completely within their right to do so.

Zoe comes across as a nice enough person but like many black actors she seems to have a chip on her shoulder about being turned down for roles and immediately blames her inability on racist producers. Rejection is part of show business. Everyone know that. It’s a tough and cruel business. Winning a part, if you’re not a draw, comes down to 2 things. Talent and looks. If you can’t act don’t expect much work. If your looks are not in step with what the production has in mind then the role is not for you. Now if the story Zoe told is true and the producers had always intended on casting a white girl then that was a scumbag move on their part. Not because they were so thick headed to not even consider someone else. But, because if they were casting white then they shouldn’t have wasted the time of any actress of color by bringing them in for a faux reading.

The color card has to stop being played whenever things don’t go right for a minority. Yeah, there is racism out there. Sure, even in Hollywood (GASP!) But, in real life 9 times out of 10 if someone doesn’t get the role or job or loan they want it’s because they WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH. That’s it. I know nowadays we are supposed to go out of our way to be mindful of people’s esteem but the hard truth is it’s a competative world. If you don’t get what you want then you need to step up your game or step aside.

Zoe’s got nothing to complain about. She’s gone from virtual obscurity to magazine cover cheesecake pretty much overnight. She’s a cute, SLIM girl — where in the world of show business thin rules, and she’s getting some decent supporting parts. She should really just bask in the glow of her career right now and stop blaming the rich white man because of a role she wasn’t right for. It’s tacky and she will eventually scare away potential work.


I don’t recall either one being terribly good. But Wild Wild West’s problems had nothing to do with Will Smith being black. That movie was a mess from conception to execution.

Folks, she wasn’t pointlessly pointing fingers or playing the racism ‘card’. She isn’t crying ‘Woe is Zoe!’. She just pointed out that it still exists and that people of color are still often overlooked for parts because of their skin color. This is not a film at eleven revelation. Anyone with eyes and ears knows these kinds of things continue to happen, despite the advances we’ve made as a society.


I completely agree. Zoe Saldana has benefited from one double standard (she’s thin and beautiful, a must in Hollywood) while complaining about another double standard (race). And there may be some unintentional “reverse racism” in her complaints when she implies that all producers (who are mostly white) discriminate against black actors and actresses. Maybe there are “racists” in Hollywood but those people are few and far between. Its not fair for her to imply all white people are racists. And if she is complaining about how the system works against her while she earns millions of dollars, wins awards, travels around the world at studios’ expenses and parties with other stars, then she is a hypocrite who bites the hand(s) that feed her.

#42 – unbelievable … do you even read what you write before you post or just don’t care?

She is not a hypocrite because she finally has the microphone and the spotlight, and the power to make social commentary. She was a hypocrite when she smiled at those producer’s and thanked them for the opportunity to audition, when it was clear to everyone in the room she was not white or blonde enough, because she had not made it yet and needed to play the game. Well she played it and now she can take a public stand without as much fear as she had before.

And being thin and beautiful has nothing to do with being a hypocrite. Explain how that works exactly? If you want to be a fashion model you do what’s required. Unfortunately, unlike diet, exercise, makeup and cosmetic surgery, there’s very little one can do to change their race and skin color (oh, unless you’re Michael Jackson, I guess he found a way). Similarly, runway models have to be a certain height. If you don’t meet the height requirement you try something else, you can’t change it. But it’s not like she’s auditioning for a role written specifically for a white girl. She’s reading for a role that more often than not goes to a white person. What does that tell you?

Take a look at the demographics on the top rated TV series and in top grossing movies for this year and then come back and make your argument. Avatar, Transformers, Harry Potter, Twilight, Up, The Hangover, Star Trek. White, White, White, White, White, White, White. OK, and Blue (I guess that’s the new black).

#39, “in real life 9 times out of 10 if someone doesn’t get the role or job or loan they want it’s because they WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH. ”

Jamunga, is that what you tell yourself to feel better at clan meetings?


“unbelievable… do you even read what you write before you post or just don’t care?”

I could say that about your post.

I was trying to say Zoe Saldana doesn’t have to worry about not finding work in Hollywood because she is thin and beautiful. While many other actresses can’t get jobs because they don’t fit the criteria. Saldana is the poster child for how actresses are supposed to look like in Hollywood.
She has made millions, got to go to places and do things most of us only dream of, yet expects us to feel sorry for her because she might not have gotten a part she was looking for a few years ago. I highly doubt it came down to racism. Black actresses are everywhere in Hollywood these days taking roles that could have went to a white actress. Just because a producer wanted someone with light skin and blonde hair doesn’t automatically mean its racism.

If Zoe were to take a stand against something, it should be sexism. There is a lot more of that going on in Hollywood than racism. If Saldana were overweight and ugly, she would be working at Wal-Mart instead of acting.
An overweight, average looking guy could easily land a part in a movie if he has the talent(unless he is auditioning for a superhero role). But a woman needs much more than just talent she needs to be thin and beautiful. I know it. You know it. Everyone knows it.

The hypocrisy factor comes from the fact that she is making millions off of her beauty while complaining about a problem that is overstated. Hollywood is run by liberals who have looked beyond race for quite some time now. Except they still judge women on how they look. The same people Zoe has criticized for being racist are the same folks who have given her fame and fortune because of her looks (as well as her talent).
She’s biting the hands that feed her. She doesn’t realize that it is her looks that have enabled her to get parts in Hollywood. At the very least its been an “equalizer” for whatever hurdles she had to overcome.

Red Skirt, I see you completely missed the point.

No one is denying that racism exists (yes, yes even in Hollywood.) But, it is not the maelstrom for which you seem to be sounding the alarm.

I did say that if the story Zoe is telling is true about reading for a part and then being told that they already have it in their heads that it’s going to a white girl, then yes, the producers were D-bags for wasting hers and every other ethnic actress’s time.

Yes, there are standards that need to be met in show business. You pointed it out, so you do understand that. My reasoning lies with putting the blame on the individual (something that has gone out of fashion recently) and accepting that they’re not going to win them all instead of creating an evil white man caricature.

Again, producers and directors have every right to cast whomever they want in their pictures. By your logic every one of them is a racist if they read an actor of color and did not put them in their film. Aside from the fact that that is a completely naive way to look at show business, I guess by your book even the arts are not exempt from affirmative action.

And I didn’t quite see your point in listing the blockbusters from last year. Yeah, they had white people in them. Thanks for pointing that out. Did you know that more than half of them were based on an existing franchise where the characters ethnicities were already pre-determined?

So what? Right?

Why couldn’t Hermione be black or Bella be Japanese?

Because its not what the fanbase has come to expect.

Forget the fanbase! Why doesn’t the director take a risk!?

Ok, for the sake of argument let’s say that Brian Singer cast a white woman as Storm in X-Men. Would you have been cool with that?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

I think its pretty telling with some of the white posters on this blog go on the defensive every time a person of color points out the obvious when it comes to racial discrimination in Hollywood, and frankly everywhere in America.


Yes any live action or animated series should be tied into Star Trek 09 for obvious reasons. Maybe some Fanfic similar to the Phase Two format could work. Either way as was stated before, there is a big time gap between these movies, there needs to be something in place inbetween to keep up the interest and PR.

#38 Its just not a week if Harry and I can’t have a verbal joust over Erica Durance. I really stick up for her, I hope she visits this site every now and them…..yeah right.

#44, you’re right I didn’t read my post or I would have spelled Klan with a “K”.

#45, Jamuga, yes, when you can’t blame the individual, just pass the buck and blame the fans and/or the source material. Hollywood has no choice in deciding what to adapt in the first place, or to cater to the fans. It’s the requirement of the job after all, not selective hiring, says the CEO in defense: “We didn’t hire a minority because our clients prefer to deal with straight white males”.

I’m not sure what yours and ryanhuyton’s point was other than to demonstrate what a delightfully single minded team you make, and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are entitled white males who have never been turned down for anything you wanted based on the color of your skin, or your sex, or your religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.

But I am delighted that FOX News has helped solidify your view of Hollywood being full of progressive liberals, all of whom go out of their way to embrace other races, religions, and who support radical belief systems which undermine the moral fabric of the United States. Yes everyone in Hollywood is just like the media paints them. My what a wonderful world you two live in where things are so black & white.

Your very arguments have proven my point acutely.

I liked “Maverick” and thought it was an entertaining movie, and it didn’t suffer from any annoying distractions. Agreed, Wild Wild West had it’s own other problems, but they were exacerbated by the distraction of changing the major character. The point is, when a producer makes a decision to go non-traditional (black cowboys, white community organizers, etc.) they are making a statement and sometimes the statement overshadows the movie itself. Movie producers should be free to make those decisions free from the political correctness police. What Zoe needs to understand is even if 70% of movie studios were owned by African-Americans, they would still be making movies with tradtional casts because that is what the marketplace demands. Like it or not, whites are still the most populated category in this country. It is a case of demographics and marketing, not racism.