Last week, New York Times’ TV critic Alessandra Stanley “attempted” to write a review for ABC’s upcoming Shonda Rhimes––produced show How to Get Away With Murder, starring Viola Davis. In her article entitled “Wrought in Their Creator’s Image,” Stanley labeled Rhimes and her characters as the “angry Black woman.”
Stanley also went on to insult the gorgeous and extremely talented Actress Viola Davis:
“Ignoring the narrow beauty standards some African-American women are held to, Ms. Rhimes chose a performer who is older, darker-skinned and less classically beautiful than Ms. Washington, or for that matter Halle Berry.”
This is the letter we’ll send to the New York Times on your behalf. Feel free to leave a personal comment in the space provided.
Dear New York Times,
Alessandra Stanley’s recent op-ed “Wrought in their Creator’s Image: Viola Davis plays Shonda Rhimes’ latest heroine” dismisses both Shonda Rhimes and her many fascinating and complex Black women characters as simply “angry Black women,” and offensively judges their adherence to white beauty standards.
With so few high profile Black women onscreen or behind the scenes in Hollywood, Stanley’s perpetuation of these harmful stereotypes is no laughing matter at all. Research shows there are dire consequences for Black people when such harmful archetypes rule the day; less attention from doctor’s, harsher sentences from judges, and discriminatory hiring practices, just to name a few.
It is unacceptable for your publication to disseminate such dangerous rhetoric. The article never should have been printed in the first place.
We demand an apology from your publication, as well as Alessandra Stanley, and the immediate retraction of her piece.
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