Viola Davis Regrets The Role She Played in 'The Help'
Being Black in Hollywood often comes with a price and regret.
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.
- Viola Davis on Proving Herself and Having Regrets About 'The Help ... ›
- Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson Make Emmy Award Nomination History ›
- Viola Davis Says She Regrets Her Role in The Help | E! News ›
- Viola Davis Slams Hollywood's Lack of Diversity - DiversityInc ›
- Viola Davis Regrets Her Oscar-Nominated Role in The Help ... ›
- Regrets About 'The Help' as Told By Viola Davis – Variety ›
"I was looking beyond my own tragedy," Lucy McBath said.
Winning in a district with affluent white voters as the majority, Lucy McBath was advised initially during her campaign not to talk about the details of her 17-year-old son's murder.
Instead, she not only mentioned Jordan Davis' story, she also called attention to the reality of other Black teens like him, including Trayvon Martin.
McBath, a Democrat, defeated Republican incumbent Karen Handel who had been elected to represent Georgia's 6th Congressional District just last year.
Her racist comments cost Susan Westwood her job, her apartment, and gave her a criminal record.
Susan Westwood's racist rant landed her simple assault and criminal threats charges and a warrant after leaving the scene where she harassed the Garris sisters outside their Charlotte, N.C., apartment complex, threatening them with concealed weapons.
The fake 911 call she made saying that the sisters were trying to break in also earned her a misdemeanor warrant for misuse of the 911 system, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Westwood was booked by Sunset Beach Police on Saturday and transferred to the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department. She was later released.
The Garris sisters' attorney, Michael Phillips, brought up the safety issue in terms of concealed weapons and threats to residents to the Camden Fairview Apartments attorneys, and they agreed to evict Westwood.
"When I spoke with them and their legal counsel they agreed that that behavior was not going to be tolerated at their apartment complex," Phillips said.
Westwood had threatened to take out her concealed weapons after telling the sisters that she was white and hot, and that they didn't belong there.
The 911 call Westwood made was released by police:
"There are folks that are trying to break in. They're trying to get in the apartments. They are actually people that I've never seen here before ― but they are African American."
When the dispatcher said that police were already responding to a broken down car in that area, Westwood replied: "If you want to know my personal opinion, there's no car broken down. There's somebody trying to cause problems. Nobody breaks their car down in the best part of society."
"They just don't belong here. … Get them out of here," Westwood demanded. "I'll tell you what, I'll pay $2,500 to get them out of here."
In a recording of a call made by Garris, she told another dispatcher that she was still waiting for police while Westwood was harassing her.
Westwood was heard screaming, "You're not going to sell drugs here."
Garris had to call 911 twice to get a response about Westwood, and when they showed up Westwood had already gone. She was MIA for four days, before turning herself in.
"We are so distraught and still very upset about what has taken place only because of the color of our skin. It was so upsetting to know that today we still have this overt racism that's going on in 2018," said one of the sisters.
The incident occurred when she was just nineteen.
"Rallies are meant to be fun," says our syrup of ipecac president.
A satirical phone line with a real message for racist white people calling the police on Black people for no reason.
Comedienne Niecy Nash teamed up with the New York Times to create a real 800 number for white people who are afraid of Black people to call, instead of calling the police.
It's an answer to all the nonsense calls that have put Blacks in danger of contact with authorities (who notoriously have a dangerous relationship), and a wake-up call to white people that are racist, and apparently don't know it.
911 dispatchers not wanting to pass along the calls made by white people may want to give out this number to save racists embarrassment, jobs, death threats, and save time and emergency resources for those who really need it— like EMS for Blacks being shot by police, perhaps?
Wait for it.... yup. It's a REAL number 🙌🏽 911 is for EMERGENCIES not your concerns, unprecedented fears or privilege. Black & brown people are being killed by law enforcement at alarming… https://t.co/76vZehXbpG
— Niecy Nash (@NiecyNash) October 23, 2018
It provides options in English and Spanish and encourages white people who are uncomfortable with Spanish to protect their ears and push no. 1.
In the commercial for the number, Nash says it's "a radical new product that will save you all the headaches from being filmed and outed as a racist douche."
She continues explaining, "Our experienced staff have been living while Black their entire lives ... It's a real number, for real white people who should mind their own damn business."
New! A Hotline for Racists | NYT Opinion www.youtube.com
Many on social media responded in applause:
When your friend is beautiful and brilliant and black and smart and funny as hell and looks damn good in a retro purple blazer while throwing satirical shade at Josh, Chad and Becky, your friend is @NiecyNash. pic.twitter.com/Qtq171Bjvv
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 23, 2018
Travis, there's help for you. Call 1-844-WYT-FEAR.
— 🌜LunaDeLaCasa🌛 (@creolepepper) October 23, 2018
Why not have a black guest on the show to explain! 🙄 #1844wytfear #Diversity answers questions you may have of others! ✊🏾❣️
— TealoveDaLadz (@tealovely69) October 23, 2018
As #WhileBlack incidents continue to increase in the spotlight, others have offered solutions for the problem of white fear.
Several months ago a New York Senator, Jesse Hamilton, who represents the Brownsville, Crown Heights, and Flatbush neighborhoods of Brooklyn, proposed a hate crime law after a Trump supporter called the police on him while he was campaigning.
This 800 number is sure to be called by many people of color and their allies who seek a good laugh, but the point remains —calling 911 for no good reason is a problem that is more dangerous than it is ridiculous.
"Back when I was a kid, that was okay just as long as you were dressing as a character," Kelly said.
Megyn Kelly, host of her own daytime talk show on NBC, apologized to colleagues on Tuesday after she made comments defending racist Halloween costumes, specifically blackface, which prompted her to be immediately slammed on social media.
Free Daily Newsletter
We won't share your email with anyone.
Zahiem Salahuddin was arrested and faced simple assault, reckless endangerment and possession of an "instrument of crime" charges just for using a toy.
Zahiem Salahuddin, a 13-year-old 8th grade student, was playing with his friends on the basketball court in Grays Ferry, Pa., this past summer. Salahuddin had a plastic toy gun that shot an orange plastic ball. A white boy was hit with the plastic ball. It was unclear which child shot the ball that hit the other child.
Salahuddin rode his bike home later, but was stopped by men in a black pickup truck who told him he shot at a Philadelphia police officer's son. Police in marked cars then arrived and Salahuddin was arrested, charged, and spent three days in jail.
For an orange plastic ball from a $3.50 toy, he faced simple assault, reckless endangerment and possession of an "instrument of crime."