Viola Davis Drops A Truth Bomb About The Roles Available To Black Actresses

She might be in the fashion and beauty blogs today for her natural hairdo and green Vera Wang gown, but Viola Davis was also notable last night for the truths she spoke about black actresses in Hollywood.

When asked about her Oscar-nominated role in The Help before the awards ceremony last night, she said she almost turned it down because a maid was a stereotypical role for a black actress to play, but “when I saw how rich the role was, it was a no-brainer.” But the real truth bomb came when she criticized Hollywood’s narrow set of options for black actresses:

“Do you know the black equivalent of a Meryl Streep? Or a Julia Roberts or a Nicole Kidman? The only category is for a strong authoritative hoochie mama. If you exude anything else, you don’t exist. There is no character for you.”

This is true, and it’s also way shitty, and something that needs to be addressed. Good on Viola Davis for reminding us that Hollywood is far from perfect on the occasion of its annual giant circle-jerk.

(Via The Sun)

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    • Nancy

      Halle Berry gets some good roles! …She’s the only black female I could think of off the top of my head who does, though…

    • porkchop

      Good! I’m glad she said that. Someone give her an awesome role, I want to see more!

    • GatasNegrasBrasileiras

      Have we noticed that all 7 black winners in the past decade catered to roles and images that are reserved for black folks? We had two “black brutes” (Denzel and F. Whitaker), two singers (Jennifer H. and Jamie F.), a Jezebel (Halle), the angry black woman (Mo’Nique) and a maid (Octavia S.). Since 1929, black folks have won about 3% of all Oscars. In industry seems to be saying, “if you people stay in your place and play the roles we associate with you, we’ll even reward you for it!” Is this a real advance? I read where Octavia Spencer hasn’t received one call for another gig since she was nominated. These images of black people are also global, so let’s see these Oscars wins for what they are worth: