Viola Davis feels she betrayed herself as The Help pandered to whites

Viola Davis. (PHOTO: 
Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
Viola Davis. (PHOTO: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
Paras Griffin

Viola Davis speaks out about her 2011 film The Help.

The actress (54) shared with Vanity Fair that she accepted a part in the film because she was trying to get a foot in the door in the film industry.

In the film Viola played Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged black maid working for a socialite white family in the 1960s.

She was nominated for best actress at the 2012 Academy Awards for her performance, PEOPLE reports.

The film sees her character rise above her situation, but Viola pointed out that the storyline centres white voices and caters to a white audience.

“Not a lot of narratives are also invested in our humanity,” she explained.

“They’re invested in the idea of what it means to be black, but . . . it’s catering to the white audience.

“The white audience at the most can sit and get an academic lesson into how we are. Then they leave the movie theatre and they talk about what it meant. They’re not moved by who we were.

“There’s no one who’s not entertained by The Help. But there’s a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn’t ready to [tell the whole truth].”

Viola has expressed deep admiration and love for fellow actresses who worked on the film with her.

It also starred Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The actress first opened up about her regrets regarding the role in a 2018 interview with The New York Times.

Source: Vanity Fair, PEOPLE, The New York Times

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