Viola Davis wasn’t 100 percent happy with how The Help turned out. While at a tribute hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in her honor, she critiqued the script and said a lot of “our stories” are “so filtered down.”
The 2011 film, which also starred Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer among many other notable names, was supposed to be from the maids’ perspectives – but in the end, it was a lot tamer than it should’ve been.
Said Davis, courtesy of ThatGrapeJuice:
“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.”
The Help was nominated for four Oscars, and Octavia Spencer took home the award for “Best Supporting Actress.” Thoughts?
Whitewashed: Viola Davis Criticizes ‘Filtered Down’ Writing In ‘The Help’ was originally published on globalgrind.com