All Articles Tagged "Viola Davis"
If anyone is fluent in the adversity faced by minority thespians in Hollywood, it is surely veteran actress Viola Davis.
After this year’s Oscar nominees — which lacked diversity, majority people of color — were announced, many weren’t so thrilled and so the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was birthed. In addition to social media backlash, many minorities in the industry spoke out to share their thoughts on the topic, including Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee.
However, while they spoke directly about the Academy, Viola Davis shared a similar yet different viewpoint, Entertainment Weekly reported. On Wednesday (Jan.20) night at Elle’s Women in Television dinner, Davis said, “The problem is not with the Oscars. The problem is with the Hollywood movie-making system.”
She then quoted on a number of questions that the Academy members — who are majority older, white men — should be asking themselves during nomination time:
“How many Black films are being produced every year?”
“How are they being distributed?
“The films that are being made, are the big-time producers thinking outside of the box in terms of how to cast the role?”
“Can you cast a Black woman in that role?”
“Can you cast a Black man in that role?”
Personally, I believe that Davis truly hit the nail on the head of what many were trying to articulate in regards to diversity in entertainment, specifically Hollywood. While many are boycotting the Oscars as the premier and affluent affair void of diversity, this issue actually stems from the movie-making system of Hollywood. Plus, this is the second year in a row that minorities have not been nominated in acting or directing roles. Not to mention, many times there are only a handful of black and brown faces in the audience, let alone accepting awards unfortunately.
I think Davis’s mentioning of Hollywood will remind individuals why it’s so important that we have more minorities occupying behind-the-scenes positions and not just in front of the camera. While it seems like those in front of the camera and relishing in the limelight have the power, they honestly don’t. So in short, we have to champion those that are breaking barriers in the industry like Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler and understand their importance, and continue pushing our stories, starring our own people.
And Davis concluded her speech, discussing the longtime hot topic of the gender pay gap, and how it disproportionately affects women of color. “You could probably line up all the A-list Black actresses out there, [and] they probably don’t make what one A-list White woman makes in one film,” she said. “That’s the problem. You can change the Academy, but if there are no Black films being produced, what is there to vote for?”
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Viola?
Can’t stop, won’t stop. Viola Davis is something like an it girl these days with her hit television show, an Emmy win for that hit television show and even her philanthropic efforts have made her the one to watch.
So it only makes sense, that she’s snatching magazine covers.
Davis will appear on the January issue of InStyle magazine where she talks about not feeling like a celebrity, superstar when she’s running after her daughter Genius.
“Taking care of a 5-year-old, cooking at home and running to the set when you’ve had four hours of sleep, you don’t feel like a movie star. Then, every once in a while, you put something on that makes you feel cute.”
It’s hard to find time to time to be concerned about clothes when you and your daughter spend so much time in outer space…in their imaginations of course.
“We go into space. We explore different planets,” Davis says of the game Genesis is most currently fond of. “This ship is in danger. We almost died at one point. We lost oxygen.”
In fact, she said the compared to her character Annalise Keating, “I have absolutely no style.”
Her style is so simple when she first married her husband Julius Tennon, of 13 years, she wore a skirt from Express. A few years later, they exchanged vows again where she wore a more traditional gown. In their upcoming vow renewal she plans to wear a custom dress by Carmen Marc Valvo.
Lastly, she explained why she’s not afraid of getting older.
“What’s released me most from the fear of aging is self-awareness,” she says. “I’ve never determined my value based on my looks or anything physical. I’ve been through a lot in life, and what has gotten me through is strength of character and faith.”
We all know about Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, Shondaland and the empires belonging to Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, but did you know the following stars have production companies?
“I Wish That I Could Tell My Sister That She’s Not Dirty” Viola Davis Shares Sister’s Sexual Assault Story
Viola Davis has spoken openly about growing up in abject poverty, going to school hungry as a child. Now, she’s lending her voice to another, very necessary and important cause, raising awareness for sexual assault victims and partnering with The Stuart House, a nonprofit organization that works with The Rape Foundation to support child victims of sex abuse.
In doing so, she shared her sister’s story of sexual assault and how it impacted the rest of her life. She did so to paint a clear picture of what type of damage childhood sexual trauma can do to a person if it goes untreated.
You can read a transcript of her speech below.
I have a sister who, when she was 8-years-old, put on some roller-skates with her friend, went down to the corner store at one-o-clock in the afternoon, went into the store and was sexually assaulted in the store. She came home and she told my mom. My mom ran down to the store, started screaming at the store owners. And they said, ‘Leave that man alone. He does that to all of the little girls.’
And then my mom proceeded to flag down a police officer, they found the man, they put him in the car. I saw my little sister crying, my mom was crying too. And that was it.
And then, from there a precocious, very intelligent, very creative child grew up to be frail, angry, a drug addict by the time she was twenty. Six children all of which have been taken by social services. A prostitute. An IV drug user.
You know memories demand attention because memories have teeth.
And in my vision and in my dreams, when I pray for my sister… you know you pray in general terms. You pray that she finds peace and love and happiness. She gets off drugs. And then of course, you open your eyes and she’s still on the streets.
But you know, it struck me that God answered my prayers with the Stuart House. You know it’s a bigger answer to my prayers than the one I was dreaming. I kind of really low-balled it.
But if I had a fantasy and I mean a fantasy, I would give her permission to speak and I would want her in an environment where people heard her. And I would want her to be angry. Because I feel that it’s not the abuser’s angry that he’s afraid of. It’s the victim’s anger that he’s afraid of. And I want her to get angry because I wish she had the Stuart House to throw her a rope because her whole life could have been different. And now her whole life is what at 39?
There are a lot of beautiful stories out there that are going to come out of the Stuart House. Really. I mean there’s a lot of people who gave to this beautiful facility and they gave until it hurt because there’s going to be so many testimonies of winning, heroic young people who literally open their mouths and dare to speak about their abuse, dare to call out their abusers.
And I guess if I were to speak about anything today, I’m going to speak about my sisters of the world. The people who fell through the cracks. WHo didn’t have a Stuart House. Because when I see that building there, the other thing that I see is the stories of the victims who didn’t get out. And the reason why that image needs to be placed in each and every one of our hearts is to show the deep importance of healing from childhood sexual trauma.
This is the day that the Lord has made and I’m going to rejoice and be glad in it. Because I wish that I could tell my sister that she’s not dirty. And that she should not feel any shame of something that she literally was not responsible for. I wish I could save her life…And I thank God for answering my prayers.
And I hope that–with each and every one of you, when you leave this facility. I’m praying the deepest prayer that you continue the fight in your heart. We take pictures, we drink some coffee, we eat some great, great great little snacks and we feel good really. And then we go about our lives. But I want you to feel the passion of all the people who work at the Stuart House. And with that we could wipe it out man.
You can watch the full video of Viola’s speech here.
Whoopi Goldberg was recently interviewed by BET.com and was asked about Viola Davis’ astounding Emmy speech which moved many of us — except Nancy Grahn, of course, and seemingly Whoopi.
In her speech, Davis proclaimed, “The only thing that separates women of color from anybody else is opportunity,” a fact many women of color in the entertainment and other industries know to be true.
However, Auntie Whoopi strongly disagreed with Davis’ statement on Hollywood’s inequities. She told BET Reporter Chantal Potter:
“I’m not sure what that [Viola’s statement] means; Opportunity to do what? You know what I mean. The truth of the matter is, there have been plenty of opportunities. Look at Scandal! Kerry Washington is there and she’s working her booty off. But they [the Emmy board] didn’t vote for her. So maybe the question is, “What do you have to do, to get voted on?” Not that the opportunity is not there. We’ve had lots of opportunities. See now there will be more parts, more dramas because Viola won an Emmy award. The truth is everyone wants an Emmy, the studios, everyone! So they’ll hire more Black women.”
Whoopi’s confusing statement means the same thing Davis referenced in her speech. Women of color are marginalized from receiving roles or awards and the opportunities are only offered when another colleague of color earns the said accolades first. This method is unacceptable and not known to be used when casting actresses who are White.
Whoopi and her co-host Raven-Symoné must have some special insight when it comes to hiring people of color that we don’t know about. What do you think?
Check out the full interview below.
Whoopi doesn’t cosign Viola’s Emmy Speech: “The Truth of the Matter is, there’s been Plenty of Opportunity…” https://t.co/RzRbp8OCAk
— BET (@BET) October 8, 2015
I enjoy “How To Get Away With Murder.” It challenges me. I have to concentrate in order to make sure I’m not left in the dark once the plot lines thicken. Not to mention, the acting is superb. Viola Davis taps into virtually every emotion as Annalise Keating and it’s a joy to watch.
There’s generally a consensus about that, evidenced by Davis’ recent Emmy win.
But last night, a few people were in their feelings.
In case you missed it, during last night’s episode, we watched Annalise and her former college classmate and boo thing Eve get it on like they used to do in the olden days. I watched Annalise and I believed her in the scenes with Eve. It didn’t seem forced or inauthentic. It was Annalise, doing what she always does: Using and manipulating people.
And she did it well.
But y’all know there are always people who want to talk about the so-called “gay agenda” being promoted on television, particularly in Shonda Rhimes’ show. That’s what I was seeing on Facebook. People were calling for Black people to “stand up” and stop accepting these type of roles, roles that paint Black people in some type of immoral or negative light. This person even went so far as to argue that Viola only won the Emmy because people on the voting committee knew that there were going to be lesbian love scenes for Annalise Keating in the future.
Possible, but a stretch.
More than anything I was perturbed by this line of thinking because it seemed so contradictory to what Viola and Shonda stand for.
They’re about inclusion.
And that’s what Viola’s memorable Emmy speech was all about.
She wants Black women represented and included in Hollywood images. And we all cheered for that. But when that inclusion is extended to someone outside of our group, then we’re not here for it. Ironically, this is just how Nancy Grahn sounded on Twitter when she bashed Viola’s speech.
And that’s what’s so troubling about these comments. Whether you believe that homosexuality is a sin or not, you understand that gay men and women live and exist in this world. They certainly have unique experiences and stories that I’m sure they too, would like to see reflected on the television screen.
It’s always so interesting to me that Christians will readily watch people lie, steal, cheat, kill, rape, and torture someone without flinching. But two same sex people kissing or having sex or hell, just being in love is entirely too much to bear.
The show is literally called “How To Get Away With Murder” and people tune in expecting it to be the new TBN.
It pains and saddens me to hear Black people call for inclusion and representation and then scoff and lob shame on so and so when that same basic decency is offered to someone else. We sound like hypocrites.
I don’t have to tell you all that Viola Davis is a class act. But that doesn’t mean she’s been deaf and blind to the discussion surrounding her recent and historic Emmy win, particularly her acceptance speech.
We’re talking about Nancy Grahn.
You may remember that Grahn, a soap star on “General Hospital” took issue with Viola’s speech saying to liken herself to Harriet Tubman, “digging thru a tunnel,” was a bit of a stretch. And she also wondered why she didn’t reference the ways in which all women are disenfranchised in Hollywood.
Naturally, it was bullish*t, likely brought on my Grahn’s own feelings of jealousy.
But Viola has heard about it.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Davis addressed Grahn’s criticisms and explained why that Harriet Tubman quote was so necessary.
And she even revealed what she and Taraji said to one another in that memorable embrace before she took the stage.
Why she used that Harriet Tubman quote
My husband and I are doing a Harriet Tubman project, and when it was picked up by HBO, one of the producers sent me that quote. It struck me in such a huge way because of its progressiveness, so it stayed with me ever since, and that’s been several months. I just felt it was apropos, seeing that no woman of color has ever won in that category. That moment had to be acknowledged, or else it would be a missed opportunity. It would be one of those moments I would look back on, and I would have regretted it.
On the Backlash
If there has been any backlash, it’s that all people want to feel included in a speech. I know there has been some backlash with an actress who didn’t feel she was included.
You mean Nancy Grahn?
Yes. I don’t know that I want to say more about that.
Y’all Viola is brilliant. Do you see what she did there? Nancy Grahn was deep up in her feelings because she didn’t feel included which is exactly what Viola’s speech was about in the first place. The same thing you want, we want.
What did you and Taraji say to one another that night?
First of all, that was like the second or third time we hugged through the night. She said, “I love you,” and I said, “I love you more than anything in the world, I love you!” That’s what we said. I think at the end of the day, people want to be seen. And I think that’s why it was important for me and Taraji to acknowledge that in each other, to not just feel like it is competition, to just say, I see you, yes, I see you, too. I love you. I take you in.
The other Black actresses she celebrated that night
Oh, I saw every last one of them! I saw Uzo, I saw Regina, I saw Lorraine Toussant, I saw Niecy Nash, I saw Queen Latifah — I didn’t get to see Mo’Nique or Kerry Washington, who I get to see on the set every once in a while. But I am renewing my vows on Feb. 13, and I hope I will get to see Kerry Washington and Taraji there. Oprah sent me a bouquet. See, these are actresses I get together with every year, in community, in camaraderie, in sisterhood. It’s pointless to be in competition — it’s only adding to the pressure that the business is putting on you.
I appreciate the way she addressed Grahn without making it messy or giving her an opportunity to respond. And I love that she shared what she and Taraji said to one another. But what struck me the most about the interview was that Davis explained how she’s finally learning to embrace the good.
How are you feeling about everything?
I’m feeling good! I’m surprised. I usually go inside my head and start overthinking things whenever something good happens and talk myself out of the joy. But I haven’t done that this time, so I think that’s a sign of maturity.
You can Davis’ full interview here.
You can read her full interview here.
Many think that the Golden Age of Black television is now, and these influential women are making this the best year yet for representation on the small screen. From making Hollywood a better place to giving us serious #sisterhood goals, these ladies are inspiring us onscreen and off.
At the end of the day, as a parent there’s nothing better than knowing that your child knows that all the hard work you do, all the late nights you work, is for them.
Emmy winner and How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis has a daughter who get’s it in little Miss Genesis.
Little Genesis “hacked” her mom’s Instagram account to post the most adorable congratulatory message ever.
The caption reads, “Hacking mommy’s instagram with the help of Team JuVee!!!”
In the video, Genesis says: “I love you mommy and I hope you win another Emmy. You’re my favorite girl and I love you.”
Davis shared another photo of her daughter rocking her Neil Lane jewels. “Don’t know where she got that pose from. My baby!!!” Davis says on Instagram.
In a cover story for Variety magazine, Davis reveals some post-Emmy feelings and the deeper meaning of her historical win.
“I keep expecting to be that little girl who loses the contest,” Davis told Variety. “It’s a mixture of disbelief and joy and acceptance. It’s just beautiful.”
More than just an Emmy, Davis explains how this award speaks volumes beyond a Hollywood platform.
“What it meant for me to win the Emmy is I found it,” Davis explained. “It’s not just the award. It’s what it’s going to mean to young girls — young brown girls, especially. When they saw a physical manifestation of a dream, I felt like I had fulfilled a purpose.”
Just beautiful indeed.
The last full week of September was one of those weeks where celebs should've backed away from the Internet. Between Nancy Grahn attempting to discredit Viola Davis' experience as a Black woman in Hollywood to R.L. being in his feelings over the "Why You Lyin'" parody and K. Michelle cussing out Idris Elba and the mother of his child on Instagram, we can't help but question not only why are these stars mad, but why are they so messy? Watch this episode of Did Y'all See? above and weigh in with the editors in the comments section.