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Octavia Spencer & Viola Davis Politely Tell Tavis Smiley “Get Over It”
By LMB Staff on
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer stopped by Tavis Smiley’s show to discuss their win at the SAG award and their nominations for an Academy Award.
Tavis, as always, expressed his dislike for the awards being nominated to two black women who portrayed maids. Anyone, that is familiar with Tavis, knows that he has any issues with any role that he feels doesn’t present Black men and women in a positive light.
He makes it clear that while he is rooting for the two ladies, he has issues with them being nominated for such a negative role such as a maid, when there were so many other roles that they could have been nominated for. He expressed his frustration with Black people still being awarded for their portrayal of maids and villains in movies and not for roles that are political and “meaningful”. tavis went on to point out that Denzel Washington was nominated for an Academy Award and won that award for his role in “Training Day”, in which he played a corrupt and violent police officer, but was ignored for his previous work in “Hurricane” and “Malcolm X”.
” Anthony Hopkins and Charlie Thereon won for being a serial killer, So It doesn’t strike me as odd that the Academy would nominate someone for being a villian. But…I don’t have a problem with the Academy nominating these two earnest, hard working women and we have never seen the story from their perspective.…yes, A white woman wrote the original sourced text, but at least she had the incite to write about women that we have not heard from.”
Viola chimes in and says:
that very mindset you [Tavis Smiley] have and that a lot of African-Americans have is absolutely destroying the black artist. A black artist can not live in that place…in a revisionist place. The black artist can only tell the truth about humanity and humanity is messy. People are messy. Caucasian actors know that and understand that. We as African-American artist are more concerned with a image and message and not execution. Which is why when you see our images they have been watered down where they are not realistic at all.we can not be politicians, we can only be truth tellers.
Tavis, or course, then challenged Viola
While I celebrate your accomplishments, there is a lack of balance in the industry. When I see the audience stand up and applaud you for playing Big Momma, because that is who you are playing, I don’t see the balance.
I can completely understand where both Viola and Octavia are coming from. it is hard enough trying to be a Black woman in Hollywood, but when you have the entire Black community constantly attacking you for the roles that you choose to play it becomes a problem. Why do we always have to be positive in order to be accepted? White actors can play any role they choose to and not be judged by their peers. they can play rapists, murderers, corrupt cops, inner city thugs, gangbangers and prostitutes with no ridicule. But as soon as a black actor or actress takes on a role that is challenging or hard to swallow, then it becomes a big racial issue.