Viola Davis: 'Hollywood is afraid to shine the spotlight on people of colour'
The Oscar-winning actress, who runs a production company with her husband Julius Tennon, has a "kiss my a*s" attitude.
Viola Davis has stated that Hollywood doesn't focus on the stories of people of colour because movie bosses are afraid.
The 53-year-old vented her frustrations at the discrimination in the movie industry, and spoke about the importance of taking a stand and creating inclusive films.
Viola, who won an Oscar for her role in Fences back in 2017, said during a keynote presentation alongside her husband Julius Tennon at Variety’s Inclusion Summit that it’s “fear” holding movie execs back when it comes to telling some people’s stories.
She added that the “people in power” are the ones who need to make the change.
“They’re not being asked those hard-hitting questions,” she said.
Julius, who runs production company JuVee along with his wife, advised people of colour to “just ask” for what they want to see happen during meetings.
“My momma always told me if you don’t ask you don’t get, so guess what, if you’re in deals with companies you just have to ask. It’s about the project and about doing something big, it’s called development for a reason, things aren’t sussed out all the way,” he explained.
While Frances McDormand's powerful acceptance speech at the Oscars last year urged fellow Hollywood stars to demand inclusion riders in an effort to increase the diversity in casting and production staff on movies, Viola confessed she didn't think it was going to solve the problem.
“I do not want to be a part of any piece of paper that has to force people to see me,” she fired.
Viola also revealed that her husband often has to play the role of peacemaker at their production company.
“He keeps me from going crazy, I’m the one who’s like, ‘kiss my a*s',” she laughed.
The duo also revealed their next JuVee project will be Emanuel, a documentary about the 2015 Charleston church shooting where nine black parishioners were killed by white supremacist Dylann Roof.
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