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Viola Davis Regrets The Role She Played in 'The Help'

Being Black in Hollywood often comes with a price and regret.

REUTERS

Brilliant thespian, Viola Davis, revealed that she has some regrets about one of her Oscar-nominated roles.


"Have I ever done roles that I've regretted? I have, and 'The Help' is on that list. Being that role model and picking up that baton when you're struggling in your own life has been difficult," she said, but "I choose to be the leader."

"I just felt that, at the end, of the day that it wasn't the voices of the maids that were heard. I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They're my grandma. They're my mom. And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie."

Davis, an Academy Award winner, an Emmy winner, and a Tony winner, did go on to say that she formed great friendships with the cast and crew from the film.

"The friendships that I formed are ones that I'm going to have for the rest of my life," Davis said. "I had a great experience with these other actresses, who are extraordinary human beings. And I could not ask for a better collaborator than Tate Taylor [director of The Help]."

Her epiphany was the sentiments of many Black women who saw the film. When the movie was released in 2011, Black critics sounded off about the film.

The Association of Black Women Historians even released a statement about the drama, stating: "Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of Black domestic workers. The Association of Black Women Historians finds it unacceptable for either this book or this film to strip Black women's lives of historical accuracy, for the sake of entertainment."

Although the association's rightful critique of the film was poignant, members did acknowledge Davis' and Octavia Spencer's stellar performances.

"The Help" was an incredibly successful movie, but it completely ignored the voices of the marginalized Black women in the film. Black domestic workers were often forced to neglect their own families for their white employers. The implications of that lifestyle were never addressed in the film.

Hopefully, Hollywood will take heed of the Davis' critique and do better in capturing Black voices when it comes to our stories.

The Conversation (2)
Don13 Sep, 2018

Its called a job. Many people who work jobs in some way or another neglect their families. Give me a break

Spread the Word on Injustice: You Made #WhileBlack Viral

There are infinite stories out there, and it's time to hear from you, because we know #WhileBlack is happening to you.

Hundreds, even thousands of #WhileBlack stories have swept the nation. You made yet another truth viral with over 90,000 views: Black Restaurant Owner Arrested for Helping Unconscious White Woman Sues NYPD.

Recently, Clyde Pemberton, a businessman in #HarlemWhileBlack, decided, along with his employees to make #WhileBlack legal, literally, and hold the NYPD accountable for arresting them for helping a white woman.

The Harlem MIST owner's lawsuit blatantly states that he was a "conscientious business owner while Black", and his employees were arrested for "being helpful employees while Black."

They want justice for living their lives, trying to help people, and being punished and forever changed because of it. Investors are gone, business is suffering, and he and employees want nothing to do with the police now.

While many stories have been about police and emergency response personnel being annoyed about having to respond to calls about Blacks living their lives, like The Science Behind Why White People Call Police on Black People for Doing Ordinary Things, many also involve the men and women in blue, who act unprofessionally and downright racist in their #WhileBlack perpetuation.

We've covered it in corporate settings, everyday settings, police interactions; we've talked to experts about the phenomenon. #WhileBlack and the fear of a racial group losing its majority status have impacted the country's behavior:

"For people of color, our concern is that we're on guard for discrimination coming toward us. And for whites, the concern is 'Whatever I'm about to say it may be landing in a way where the person perceives me as racist.' So they double down because they don't want to admit a particular bias or slant," said Alexis McGill-Johnson, executive director and co-founder of Perception Institute.

There are infinite stories out there, and it's time to hear from you, because we know #WhileBlack is happening to you.

Join The Conversation below, or send us an email, tweet, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn reply and tell us: What is YOUR #WhileBlack story?


White Police Officer Charged With Manslaughter for Shooting Black Man in His Own Apartment

Dallas family protested the officer being free and on leave for three days after the killing.

SCREENSHOT FROM "CBS THIS MORNING" BROADCAST

Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who is white, fatally shot a 26-year-old Black man, Botham Jean, in his own apartment on Thursday, claiming she entered what she thought was her own home.

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Black Restaurant Owner Arrested for Helping Unconscious White Woman Sues NYPD

"You're not a physician or any s--- like that tonight," an NYPD supervisor told Dr. Clyde Pemberton.

Dr. Clyde Pemberton, a Black restaurant owner and retired psychiatrist in Harlem, sued the NYPD for his arrest after he helped an unconscious white woman in his restaurant.

When Pemberton tried to tell the white supervisor from the 28th precinct that he was a doctor, the officer interrupted him:

"You're not a physician or any s--- like that tonight," Pemberton recalled.

The federal lawsuit is claiming a #WhileBlack moment— removal of the right to be a professional and business owner.

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School Rejects Black Child for His Dreadlocks, Calls Police on His Dad: #GrowingUpWhileBlack

C.J. Stanley Sr. walked his son outside of the school, and filmed his reaction to discrimination.

YOUTUBE

C.J. Stanley Sr. took his six-year-old son to A Book Christian Academy in Apopka, Fla., for his first day at school, but C.J. Jr. was turned away because of his dreadlocks. The school had a policy on no long hair for boys, and the fact that C.J. offered to put his hair in a pony tail didn't help.

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Sources confirmed that Aretha Franklin passed away this morning at 8 a.m. at the age of 76.

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Hollywood Casts Asians in Asian Roles — First Time in 25 Years

But dark-skinned Asians are still largely absent from the film "Crazy Rich Asians." Still "whitewashing"?

REUTERS

"Crazy, Rich Asians," a film that debuted Wednesday, is the first Hollywood production in over two decades that doesn't use white actors to portray Asian characters.

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Lena Waithe Explains Why She Decided to Cut Off Her Locs​

Waithe is no longer letting stereotypes stand in her way.

INSTAGRAM

For many Black women, hair is tied to identity. Award-winning screenwriter and actress Lena Waithe said queer stereotypes prevented her from cutting her hair, until now.

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Aretha Franklin Embodies Black Female Empowerment

"Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I'm using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I'm happy with that."

Aretha Franklin's voice is world renowned. The pain, struggle and subsequent liberation behind it isn't as well known. As we come to terms with her imminent departure from the earthly realm, we will forever cherish one of the most beautiful voices known to man.

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