Just seven years since the multiple award-winning film The Help came to our screens, one of the lead actresses in it, Viola Davis, has revealed that she regrets her part in it.
Davis won two SAG awards, one Critic’s Choice Award and was nominated for an Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe, for her role as a housemaid in 1960s Mississippi called Aibileen Clark, however, believes that the film as a whole failed to portray the African American experience authentically.
In an interview with the , Davis, now 53, has echoed some of the criticism the film has garnered since its release, saying that, despite the excellent cast and best intentions of many, its ‘white saviour’ narrative lets down the crucial perspective of the black maids the story should centre around.
The How To Get Away With Murder star told the publication, ‘Almost a better question is, have I ever done roles that I’ve regretted? I have, and “The Help” is on that list.’
The Rhode Island-native pointed out that the cast, which included Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone and more, were not at fault, but instead the story itself, she explained, ‘But not in terms of the experience and the people involved because they were all great. The friendships that I formed are ones that I’m going to have for the rest of my life. I had a great experience with these other actresses, who are extraordinary human beings. And I could not ask for a better collaborator than Tate Taylor.’
But she continued, ‘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. 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.’
Twitter has come out in full support of the iconic star, with Oprah Winfrey mirroring Davis' thoughts.