*Actress Viola Davis believes the historic 6 black actors who have been nominated for Academy Awards earned the recognition because of their amazing talent, and NOT a response to the 2016 #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
Typically, the only way black actors are guaranteed an Oscar nomination is if they play servants, maids, whores and drug dealers/addicts. However, this year took the breath away for many after it was announced that seven of the top 20 nominees in acting categories are not white. But Viola, who is up for a Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Fences,” insists it’s the actors’ talent — not the color of their skin.
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“There’s a lot of typecasting – age, sex, color, dark-skinned, light-skinned,” she told Variety.com at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night.
“Response to OscarSoWhite? No. I think that every nominee from Naomie Harris to Octavia Spencer to Hidden Figures to Fences to Moonlight to Mahershala Ali are up there because they deserve to be there. They’re not there because of the color of their skin. They put in the work. So the answer to that is no.”
Davis also told Variety that she hopes the Oscar’s recognition will lead to more films that represent people of color for years to come.
“Is it just going to be a trend to talk about inclusion — and I’d rather say inclusion than diversity — or is it going to be a norm that we’re all part of the narrative, that all of our stories deserve to be told, and that art indeed has to reflect life and our culture,” she said.
“I saw an absence of women who look like me on TV eight years ago. And to tell you the truth, we’re still sort of absent in leading roles, especially if you’re darker than a paper bag.”