Another day, another story of people somehow being egregiously disrespectful to an award-winning actress.
Viola Davis recently opened up about rancidly racist micro-aggressions she’s faced in her career.
Earlier this week the Oscar and Emmy-winning actress participated in the Kering Women In Motion conversation at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, presented by Variety, and revealed that a male director called her by his maid’s name decades ago.
“I had a director who did that to me,” said Davis while discussing Hollywood’s perception of Black actors and how the amount of roles she can play remains limited due to her skin color, even at her A-list stature, reports Variety.
“He said, ‘Louise!’ I knew him for 10 years, and he called me Louise and I find out that it’s because his maid’s name is Louise, I was maybe around 30 at the time, so it was a while ago,” she continued. But what you have to realize is that those micro-aggressions happen all the time.”
Davis who starred in the 2011 film “The Help”, something she said she regrets, added that more space needs to be created for fellow dark-skinned actresses and she’s hoping to do that with her production company, JuVee Productions, which she founded with her husband Julius Tennon who was by her side this week at Cannes.
“I know that when I left ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ that I don’t see a lot of dark skin women in lead roles on TV and not even in streaming services,” Davis said, in conversation at Cannes with Variety‘s chief correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister.
“And that ties into ideology and ethos and mentality, and that’s speaking in the abstract,” she continued. “Why aren’t you hiring a dark skin woman when she walks in the room and you say she blows you away? Create space and storytelling for her so when she thrives she’s not thriving despite of her circumstance but thriving because of her circumstance.”
Later in the conversation, Aunt Vi spoke about being rejected for roles in the past, and admitted she was passed over because of her race or because Hollywood talent did not find her “pretty enough.” The latter reason “really gets on my damn nerves,” Davis said. “It breaks my heart and it makes me angry.”
Her comments come after she previously shared that some Black actors thought she shouldn’t have been booked for “How To Get Away With Murder” because they apparently didn’t find her “pretty enough” for that role.
“A lot of it is based in race. It really is,” Davis added of being rejected to Variety. “Let’s be honest. If I had my same features and I were five shades lighter, it would just be a little bit different. And if I had blonde hair, blue eyes and even a wide nose, it would be even a little bit different than what it is now. We could talk about colorism, we could talk about race. It pisses me off, and it has broken my heart — on a number of projects, which I won’t name.””
One day, y’all are gonna stop playing with Viola Davis…
What do YOU think about Viola Davis’ maid name/ “not pretty enough” revelations? Which director do YOU think disrespected her in that way?
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