Viola Davis ‘regrets’ her role in The Help

Viola Davis

US –  Viola Davis has expressed regret about her role in 2011 film The Help, apparently concurring with critics of its “white saviour” narrative. Davis played Aibileen Clark, one of two black maids in 1963 Mississippi whose stories are told by a young white woman (Emma Stone) in a book exposing the everyday racism they face.

In an interview with the New York Times, Davis cited The Help as a role she regretted. “I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard,” she said. “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.”

Davis qualified her criticism by saying that the experience of making the film in terms of friendships and collaborators was extremely positive. In the same interview, Davis spoke of the “responsibility of feeling like I am the great black female hope for women of colour”, describing it as “a real professional challenge”.(The Guardian)…[+]