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NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis has regrets about her role as a maid in the 2011 film The Help.

The 53-year-old told The New York Times “it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard.” Davis says if you make a movie about what it felt like to work for white people and bring up children in 1963, then she wants to hear how you really feel about it. Davis says she never heard that in the film.



Davis received a nomination for the Academy Award for best actress for her role as Aibileen Clark. She won a Screen Actors Guild award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role.

Davis stars in the crime drama Widows, which is in theaters Nov. 16.

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10 thoughts on “Viola Davis Has Regrets About Role In ‘The Help’

  1. Christianforreal on said:

    I can feel what Viola was speaking about, even though I am not an actress. However, I believe that the movie was very necessary, because it gave a peek into the world that many of our grandparents, great-grandparents and many other family members lived within. It allowed us and our children to better understand why we tell them, as our parents told us, to work harder and be better than your white counterpart. Our children are coming up in a world where they are told that they are equal and they believe that they will be judged by the same aspects that their peers of different races will be and this kind of movie shows them of what we speak when we tell them otherwise. It allows us all to remember what we came from and why we must NEVER slow down or take it for granted!!!

  2. tedgravely on said:

    I pray there are no more slave films or movies where we are subservient. Just like I pray they stop putting the same tired characters on Ebony and Essence. I like to see more movies like in the Heat of the Night. It’s a period piece with racial undertones but the strong black man demonstrates how to operate and overcome with integrity. Oh he had an honest job – Detective. Not some drug dealer trying to clean his money. I digress. For those criticizing Viola for not speaking up previously; how many of you really knew who she was before that movie? Now that she is widely respected, known, and financially secure, she can be a little more vocal. I’m sure others have taken jobs and stayed mum because you needed to live. Viola’s body of work significantly increased after the Help. At least she is using her voice now to reflect on a way forward. Some people have it “made” and still step n fetch.

  3. As one of my favorite actresses, the indomitable Hattie McDaniel once said when asked how she felt about playing the role of a maid, “I’d rather play one than be one.” I’m with you Guest. Bet she didn’t for one nanosecond regret the check.

  4. vdabney722 on said:

    Viola is a great actress, but it’s too bad this didn’t occur to her when she was reading the script and the film was being shot. The things she’s talking about are what made me and others question that movie. It seemed like the focus was too much on the white women, and the subtle message that the white writer was fueling the resistance of the maids. That’s a criticism I’ve had with many movies who claim to have a black “lead” when they are actually playing the part of the “sidekick”.

  5. Too late for regrets, Viola–it is what it is!!!!!!!
    How about this–the movie, “The Help” NEVER should have been MADE.

    It must have been a dream flick for Chump’s supporters who wish to take this damn country backwards.

    Many of those turds would love to see US in bondage again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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