The Help actress Viola Davis feels like she “betrayed” herself with her role in the 2011 movie because the film didn’t “tell the whole truth.”
The 2011 civil rights movie became the most viewed film on Netflix last month amid the Black Lives Matter movement, but the actress — who played maid Aibileen Clark — insisted the film should have explored Black characters in a deeper way.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, she said: “There’s no one who’s not entertained by ‘The Help.’ But there’s a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn’t ready to [tell the whole truth].”
Davis explained that while the film gives some insight into some experiences of Black Americans, it doesn’t go deep enough and is told through a White perspective.
She added: “The white audience can at the most sit and get an academic lesson into how we are. Then they leave the movie theater and they talk about what it meant. They’re not moved by who we were.”
The movie received criticism upon its release as the story focused on the perspective of a White character.
It was also directed by a White man, Tate Taylor, and adapted from a story by a White author, Kathryn Stockett.
Bryce Dallas Howard — who plays racist socialite Hilly in the flick — previously suggested audiences should turn to other movies if they want to be educated on racism.
She wrote on her Facebook page: “I’m so grateful for the exquisite friendships that came from that film … This being said, ‘The Help’ is a fictional story told through the perspective of a white character and was created by predominantly white storytellers. We can all go further.”