Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Viola Davis Won’t Play Another Maid, Wants Better Roles for Black People

This entry is a bit earnest and devoid of snark, but you’ll just have to deal with it. Viola Davis is in the upcoming flick Beautiful Creatures, which I’ll probably see because I have a weakness for magical realism and bad YA fiction. While her character, Amma, as originally written as a maid, Viola gave a good “hell no!” to that because playing a housekeeper in The Help was enough for her and, you know, black people can do more than serve white ones.

From CNN’s Marquee Blog:

“I’m tired of that,” Davis told CNN of playing housekeeper roles. “We played – 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.”

Well, yeah. It’s a shame this is even a discussion in 2013, but unfortunately while things are getting better, we still have a long way to go to so that it’s not weird to see a black lead in a romantic comedy (one that’s not made by Tyler Perry, that is) or as a doctor or lawyer or wife or anything that’s typically chock full of white people. That goes for any minority, really. Hollywood should catch up and realise that people of colour live lives just like white people do, so they ought to be making projects that represent it.

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I couldn’t agree more! It’s good to know there are actresses out there taking a stand. This “magical negro” nonsense has gotten old.

  • While I get where she is coming from, she’s being awfully picky for someone I’ve never heard of. Plenty of sucessful actors have made great money being typecast (like Danny Trejo, who is the same guy in nearly everything), and its better to be typecast than not cast at all.

  • Love Viola and she’s right, there’s a world of difference between being a maid in “The Help” and in “Beautiful Creatures.” Good for her for speaking up.

  • I fully agree with her. Get ’em, Viola…when I was a little girl, I didn’t have beautiful, strong dark-skinned black actresses to look up to so I hope she becomes that for the next generation. Fortunately, when I have a little girl she’ll have a lot more to aspire to/look up to. Things have changed a lot and I hope they continue changing.

    Aside:Did you *have* to use that picture, though? So many gorgeous shots of her with her natural hair and you chose the grossest one ever!

  • her role in beautiful creatures is not treated like a maid at all, in fact the main charcter considers her like her mom and its more about her background of vodoo and stuff soooo dont be so winy viola