For Millennials. By Millennials.
Since George Floyd’s murder, there has been a lot of conversations about Black Lives Matter. Many people are trying to educate themselves about the struggles of black people and racism. However, a lot of people are focusing on the wrong film that is The Help. After it became number one of Netflix, Viola Davis criticized it and regrets starring in it.
Based on Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help follows a white woman’s effort to highlight racism in the 60s.
Directed and written by Tate Taylor, the film was released in 2011 and received four Oscar nominations. The cast includes Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney, and Bryce Dallas Howard. Although The Help is about racism and class discrimination against black in the 60s, it focuses mostly on the white characters. Skeeter, a white college graduate, interviews black maids for her book and tries to highlight their struggles. While the film was released nine years ago, it has once again become number one since George Floyd’s murder. However, the African American community is urging people to not watch The Help if they wish to educate themselves about racism, police brutality, and struggles of black people.
Despite the film gaining popularity, Viola Davis regrets accepting this role.
She was nominated for the Oscar for her stellar performance. However, Viola Davis has shown remorse for starring in The Help. According to Viola Davis, it focuses on the wrong narrative and doesn’t do anything for the black characters. She said:
“I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard. I know Aibileen and I know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom. And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie.”
Although she regrets it and is not alone in the criticism, the film did escalate Viola Davis’ career and brought new opportunities.