In promotion for the upcoming film Widows, Viola Davis shared some interesting words about how the opening scene of the film represents a drastic change for the way Black, dark-skinned, older women have been represented onscreen.
“I look at the way the film begins with me in bed with Liam Neeson. And we’re kissing. And it’s a sexualized kiss. And here I am, I’m dark. I’m 53. I’m in my natural hair and I’m with Liam Neeson. I’m with what America would consider to be a hunk. And he’s not my slave owner. I’m not a prostitute. It’s not trying to make any social or political statements. We simply are, a couple in love…
So if it’s not making anything then why isn’t it done? If we are indeed committed to inclusion and diversity and we do see people of color as the same as us, as our counterparts, then why can’t you consider a character that is not ethnically specific, then why can’t you consider someone like me for it? If it’s not a big deal, why hasn’t it been done?”
It was a very simple and straightforward statement. One that is in line with the speech Davis made in 2015 when she won the Emmy for her portrayal as Annalise Keating in ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder.”
But for some reason, when Davis evoked the image of her in bed, kissing a White man, suddenly people had a problem with it. And my people, I mean mostly Black men.
See what they had to say below.
Thankfully, there were more than a few people who understand exactly what sis was saying. It’s not about the White man. It’s about ending traditions of colorism, ageism and racism in Hollywood. So that Black women can simply tell stories through the medium of film…like White women have been able to do for centuries.