“That very mindset that you have and that a lot of African-Americans have is absolutely destroying the black artist. The black artist cannot live in a place—in a revisionist place—a black artist can only tell the truth about humanity and humanity is messy, people are messy,” Davis told Smiley.
“We as African-American artists are more concerned with image and message and not execution, which is why every time you see your images they’ve been wanted down to the point where they are not realistic at all, it’s like all of our humanity has been washed out,” Davis went on to say.
YES! Viola, YES! thank you. thank you for being confident and brave enough to speak honestly about this. you nailed it! and you too, Octavia, for reminding the always-arrogant, sometimes mis-informed, Tavis about some of the roles that white actors have been nominated for. Charlize Theron in Monster, Kathy Bates in Misery, Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs…remember those?
i’m so sick of hearing the black community come down on these two beautiful actors for playing “the help”, sick of it. these women are artists. amazing actors. they will play maids, mothers, rape victims, funny friends, sassy coworkers, widows and maybe even serial killing cannibals. they will play them all truthfully and beautifully because they are talented artists devoted to telling layered, touching stories. messy, engaging, uplifting, discouraging, heart-breaking, inspiring stories. why are you, the black community, requiring them to play only Dreamgirls and Huxtables? my grandmother was a maid. and my aunt, a professor. both true. both strong, complex and beautiful. both deserving of being seen and heard. why can only one of their stories be told? i’m not ashamed of either of them, why are you? telling the truth doesn’t “set us back”, refusing to and then punishing and refusing to support those that do does.
okay, i’m going to stop myself here. i have too many things to say and not at a place in my career yet to say them.
oh, Tavis. i bet you love you some Tyler Perry movies though, don’t ya?
that one slipped out.