Viola Davis Critiques ‘The Help’ : “It Wasn’t From Our Perspective”

Published: Monday 23rd Jan 2017 by David

Viola Davis‘ British fans were elated when she touched down in the United Kingdom to spread the word about her new movie ‘Fences’.

While there, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts hosted a tribute to the actress to honour her life, the lessons she has learned from it, her craft and her career.

Of course, a conversation with Davis wouldn’t be a real one without a discussion on ‘The Help’.

Her feelings on it are mixed.


Find out below…

I absolutely love the premise. I love the fact that [Emma Stone’s character] said ‘I am going to write a story from the maids’ perspective of what it feels like to work with these white women’. Operative term meaning the maids’ perspective. I don’t feel like it was from our perspective, that’s the problem I had with it. I had it from the very beginning.

The anger, the vitriol, and the hatred that they would have towards these white women if they were asked, if they were put in a situation where they were isolated, would have been vocalized. You didn’t see none of that!

That’s the issue I have with a lot of our stories. By the time … it makes it to the screen, the truth is so filtered down, and then it’s given to you to make you feel very comfortable. It’s not our job to make you feel comfortable, it really isn’t. If you feel comfortable, then that is your journey, and your cross to bear. That is the beauty of art, the beauty of art is that we throw it to you, you receive it, and if you shift in some way, [then] we’ve done our job.

Do you agree?

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  1. ya January 23, 2017

    I think that’s very important to express because I believe its important we get to tell our stories, when others (mainly whites and Jews- same thing) tell our narrative they seem to always water it down as to make supposedly whites feel comfortable as to ensure more returns on their gain. That’s’ why I feel it imperative that we start to own our stories (real or fiction) from the inception down to the distribution, that not only employs Black folks and (no coons either)but helps to bring to life what has been severely underrepresented, US.

    • Jasmine January 23, 2017

      I agree.

  2. Jo January 23, 2017

    “By the time … it makes it to the screen, the truth is so filtered down, and then it’s given to you to make you feel very comfortable. It’s not our job to make you feel comfortable, it really isn’t.”

    This! Mainstream media always attempts to paint racist white people as normal people, when in reality, they’re monsters.

  3. Casual January 23, 2017

    Wtf is she talking about? Those maids were professionals who spoke their truths in the movie in the confines available to them, same as it would have been for the real women upon whom the movie was based — amongst each other. It didn’t happen much in the movie, and it wasn’t possible in real life back then, for those women to tell their realest truths to whites, friendly or not. We understood their anger and rage very well. Pie, anyone?

    • Fancy BISH January 23, 2017

      Minny’s Chocolate Pie lol…revenge doesn’t get any sweeter than that! No words are needed lol…it’s the ULTIMATE.

    • Edwin January 23, 2017

      I think WTF She was talking about was the true perspective of black maids at that time, basically it was whitewashed because outside of them being maids can u even fathom what emotionallyand psychically they had to go through. I’ve heard/read stories of the rapes and inhumane treatment I which they suffered. So basically (my opinion) white America wasn’t prepared to witness those kind of realities. Get my Driff!

  4. Teflon Boy January 23, 2017

    I agree that The Help felt more like wholesome entertainment for a mainstream audience rather than an honest depiction of the lives and fears of those women. Also, by it’s very design it followed the ‘white saviour’ trope and was about more about how ‘virtuous’ and ‘selfless’ Emma Stone’s character was when her motives for writing the accounts were pretty self-serving. I saw ‘Jackie’ (Natalie Portman) last night and thought it was incredible engaging, nuanced and artistic. A brief comparison of the moving parts of that film highlights where most Black films fall short. I would love to see the movies about of our Black cultural icons given the same sort of top end quality treatment from casting to writing, dialogue, cinematography and music score. All too often the execution is cheaply rendered and Lifetime Channel-esque, singer’s cast instead of quality actors etc.

  5. @ASAPicon January 23, 2017

    Wow, What a powerful reflection!

  6. Now time yca ritish wauyz January 26, 2017


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