Academy Award-winner Viola Davis is a household name with tons of movies and television shows on her resume but she has regrets about her role on The Help.
Fresh off the heels of the premiere of Steve McQueen’s, Widows, at the Toronto International Film Festival, Davis expressed her grievances about the film’s portrayal. While she noted that it was a wonderful experience working and building with Tate Taylor, she said the point of view from The Help was missing.
“I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard,” said Davis 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.”
When the film was released in 2011, Davis got rave audits and an Academy Award nomination for her role as Aibileen. Jessica Chastain additionally earned a nomination while Octavia Spencer brought home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress — yet Davis has a point.
The story is told mainly through the eyes of the main heroine, Emma Stone’s Skeeter, which unfortunately painted the unpopular “white savior” narrative and pushed aside the emotional narrative of the black maids raising white families.