viola

As an acclaimed black woman in film, Viola Davis is saying no more to playing an oppressed black soul! I hear that!

Last year, the actress received a lot of backlash from her depiction in the film, The Help. Undeniably a great read and even greater film, Davis played a character of a black maid who viewers watched come into her own. Accusations from the black community suggested that the role was setting black people back half a century.

Due to the controversy, and realizing that she has “been there, done that and DOES not need to go back” (2 snaps), our beloved Viola is desisting any upcoming roles as a maid, aside from her latest film, Beautiful Creatures (in theaters February 14th). In the upcoming film, Davis plays a character named Amma, who is both a maid and librarian.

“As soon as I saw that Amma was a housekeeper, my radar went up because of ‘The Help,’” Davis tells Eurweb.com. “I said, ‘I can’t be another housekeeper.’”

She also told CNN: “I’m tired of that. Me and Octavia [Spencer], Aunjanue Ellis, Roslyn Ruff — we all played maids in The Help and it was fabulous. It’s a fabulous story because we were personalized and all of those things, but I think that people need to see an African-American in the 21st century integrated in the life of this town and family who’s not in servitude.”

I couldn’t agree more! It’s vital to have our African American entertainers aware of their platform and depictions. Viola Davis taking a stand will hopefully cast a domino effect on other black entertainers.

What do you think, Clutchettes? Do you agree with Viola Davis’s decision?

-Nikki B.

  • http://www.politicalinstituteforwomen.org Kimberly Mitchem-Rasmussen

    Women of color have so much more to offer in Hollywood beyond the maid, home girl or rigid, emotionally scared unlovable antagonist. Thank you Viola!

  • http://gravatar.com/eynapanirb B.Payne

    Thank You!

    It’s time to diminish the old idea of black women and start creating roles that reflect current situations/events.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    Wait, did she say that she’s not going to play maids anymore AFTER this role where she plays a maid again. Lol!

    I think Viola is a really good actress but she says some questionable stuff. Like how she was throwing shade left and right at Black people who criticized her role in The Help.

  • Eme

    Here! Here! Viola.

    I think that all Black actors and actresses should resolve to never play a Magical Negro or Black Best Friend in a mostly White cast ever again. Give me a character with depth and complexity, or give me death.

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    “I think that people need to see an African-American in the 21st century integrated in the life of this town and family who’s not in servitude.”

    So glad she said that. It’s been done. I’m tired of movies with Steppin Fetchin characters or just a bit too much neck twirling, so while I’m glad she’s taking a stand, part of me also knows some other struggling actor will accept those roles. But hopefully, her speaking out on it will catapult a change.

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    I just want a talented black producer/director (aka someone who isn’t tyler perry) to come out with a movie that isn’t about slavery or servitude.

  • http://thebrokejetsetter.com Brokejetsetter

    But hasn’t she played plenty other roles? Why are they making it seem like she has only ever been a maid.

  • omfg

    i been saying this all along…

  • Wanda

    Never say never. What if they re-made “Gone With The Wind” and they offered her millions to play Mammy, the role that Hattie McDaniel won the Oscar? Can’t tell me that she’d turn it down.

  • http://crystalspraggins.blogspot.com/ Crystal Spraggins

    Listen, if she’s bored, she’s bored, and I can understand an actor wanting to shake it up a bit. But a good role is a good role. So, I’m with Wanda–never say never. Personally I’d rather see people of color in good, juicy roles, whatever the character, than not at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nayomiii Nia Everal Kirton

    The book is so much better then movie. Sorry just had to disagree with the author there. I know that not the point of the article but I feel it had to be said.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    I think we need to be careful not to put down certain members of the black community just because they seem to be overrepresented in the media. There is nothing wrong with being a maid, or a nurse’s aid, or a slave, or a sassy, overweight black woman.

    Yes, it would be nice to have more diversity represented–but let’s not look down our noses at people that have just as much value as whatever more powerful characters we wish Hollywood would show on screen.

  • FYI

    “Stepin Fetchit”

    …Cause it’s Black history month and whatnot.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    We can say this when we actually have control over our images. Until then, I’m going to say something whenever some White Hollywood execs wanna put out some stupid movie with another tired stereotype of Black women.

  • Sasha

    I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. She says she’s done playing the servant roles but she’s still playing someone who’s a maid?? Black women HAVE surpassed the maid roles in significant ways (Halle, Zoe, Gabrielle, Jada etc..) So I’m not understanding why she keeps accepting these roles? She has such a strong demeanor onscreen I’d like to see her branch out more before she’s pigeon holed into always being the “help.”

  • Desi

    I refused to pay to see this movie because I didn’t want to see yet another movie about the virtuous, proud maid, who gallantly serves white people. When the film first came on cable, I refused to watch it but when it came on again, I watched it rolling my eyes the entire time. I don’t get why this movie was so wonderful It was predictable and I couldn’t stand to see Viola in this role. Besides, the movie didn’t belong to her – it was Octavia Spencer, who stole the show. I loved her take no stuff role. She was doing what she had to do. If Hollywood wants to continue to make maid stories, then let’s see the story when the maid’s children become successful professionals – many black women toiled to send their children to college – now that’s the story I want to see!!

  • Tiffy

    I read the book and I think they took the role of the housekeeper Amma and the librarian Dr. Ashcroft who in the book is Harvard educated and combined them. Amma is a central character and I understand some movies merge book characters but to get rid of the black professor and combine her with the maid is offensive and completely insulting to black ppl….

  • shaQ

    she is a black big lipped wide nosed woman. (in my opinion beautiful) but lets be realistic. how many roles are out there for woman like her.

  • Deidra

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who recalled the shady things she said about the criticism she received for playing in The Help. I wonder what made her have a change of heart.

  • Kema

    I think Tyler Perry is getting better. The new
    movie with Lance Gross (yum!) looks promising.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    I hear that! …I purposely didn’t see the movie after reading the book….and I rolled my eyes through the entirety of the book once I realized it was typical white liberal nonsense, a way to deal with racism with kid gloves on, while still maintaining the white savior theme. Interestingly enough, there was a younger maid in the book who was described as “talking white” and the protagonist feared her the most because of her apparent education…I always wondered if they explored that character in the movie….

  • Fantastico

    She is type cast. You can audition for anything but what role you are hired for is out of your control.

  • Seriously?

    NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A SLAVE????? GURL, where is your MAMA at b/c she needs to come get you! Attitudes like yours are why these types of movies are allowed to continue.

    What is your issue with other Black women demanding more diversity in roles? Stating a simple fact, we’re only being represented as low class is not “looking down our noses”. I SWEAR some of ya’ll take the lowest bar and hang on to it out of fear that someone else will want better.

  • Seriously?

    I won’t evern touch the “sassy overweight black woman”. You really have no problem with being portrayed as an undesirable mammy? EVERY OTHER RACE is being represented by young thin attractive women, and you’re just fine with Madea (a MAN in drag) or “Big Mama” being the main image of black women? URRGGGGHHHH! Is there really such a large percentage of black women that want to work against their own interests? Never mind trying to tie others in with them.

  • Anonymous

    The way her and Howard acted in Prisoners was exactly what white america would like to say of Black Men and Black Women! They showed the Black man as Weak, and crying and boyish, while his contrasting character the White Male, was about action. The Black woman was the voice of authority in the home, their kid was out of control with no discipline! Its really sad, I could barely sit through the movie!

Latest Stories

10 Questions No One Will Ask Ex-Boxing Champ Kassim Ouma After Assaulting a Man Who Came On To Him

by

10 Things We Can Learn From Olivia Pope On “Scandal”

by

Struggling To Tell Black People Apart? Watch David Alan Grier Hilariously Break It Down

by

Carol’s Daughter Files For Bankruptcy

by
More in black actresses, hollywood
Are Slave Movies Becoming a New Trend?
kerry-washington-w-magazine-best-performances-2013
Kerry Washington and Quvenzhané Wallis are W Magazine‘s Brightest Stars

Close