Viola Davis Says She’s Lost Roles Due to Colorism

Viola Davis reflects on some of the racist treatment she has experienced in Hollywood throughout her career and the ongoing series of violations she continues to face.

Actress participating Diversity and Kering’s “Women In Motion” panel discussion at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, recalling a Hollywood director who once called her by the wrong name. She explained that despite knowing this man, whose name she hid, “for ten years”, he had called her by his maid’s name. Davis explains, “I had a director who did that to me … and I found out that it was because [it’s] his maid’s name. I was probably around 30 years old then, so that was a while ago. But what you have to realize is those breaches happen all the time. “

The four-time Oscar winner also spoke about the limited roles available to Black actresses in Hollywood and the stereotypical storylines they are still offered in movies. “If I wanted to play the role of a married mother living in a low-income neighborhood and my son was a gang member who died in a drive-by shooting, I could do it, ‘ said Davis. “If I were to play a woman who is trying to reinvent herself by flying to Nice and sleeping with five men aged 56 who look like me, I would have a hard time pushing that person, even as a character. Viola Davis.”

Davis also argues that racism is the root cause of these types of projects being rejected. “Much of it is race-based. It really is like that,” she said. “Let’s be honest. If I had the same features and I was five shades lighter, it would be only slightly different. And if I had blonde hair, blue eyes, and even a wide nose, it wouldn’t even be. It’s going to be a little bit different than it is now.” The actress continued, “We could talk about colorism. We could talk about race. It pissed me off, and it broke my heart. my heart – about some projects that I won’t name.”

Davis on her cover story last July Vanity Fair that she feels as if “my whole life has been a protest. My manufacturing company is my objection. I didn’t wear a wig at the 2012 Oscars is my objection. It’s part of my voice, like introducing myself to you and saying, ‘Hi, my name is Viola Davis.’ But she explained that finding that voice was not an easy process. “When I was younger, I didn’t develop my voice because I didn’t feel like I deserved to have a voice,” she says. “The voice of the black woman is deeply embedded in slavery and our history. If we speak up, we will pay with our lives. Somewhere in my moving memory is still that feeling – that I have no right to speak out about the way I’ve been treated, that somehow I deserve it. I have not found my own worth”.

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2022/05/viola-davis-cannes-film-festival-lost-roles-colorism-microaggressions-racism-hollywood Viola Davis Says She’s Lost Roles Due to Colorism

Sarah Ridley

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