Oscar winning actress Viola Davis is on the cover of the latest issue of Porter magazine, and she is straight fire!
The actress discussed the #MeToo movement, race in Hollywood, and pay equality.
Discussing race and people of colour getting nominated in this year’s Oscars, she said:
Here’s the thing: it’s not about the Oscars, it’s about how we’re included in every aspect of the movie-making business. When you look at a role as a director or producer that is not ethnically specific, can you consider an actor of color, to invest in that talent?
The problem is, if it’s not an urban or civil rights drama, they don’t see you in the story. People need to understand that they shouldn’t see people of color one way. We don’t always have to be slaves or in the ’hood or fighting the KKK. I could be in a romantic comedy. I could be in Gone Girl. Or Wild. I could be seen the same way as Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore. I actually came from the same sort of background; I went to Juilliard, I’ve done Broadway. I’ve worked with the Steven Spielbergs. I should be seen the same way. That’s what I think is missing: imagination.
On the pay disparity not just between men and women, but between white women and black women, Davis said:
I don’t want to tell anyone what to do, but I think Jessica Chastain did a really boss move with Octavia Spencer [on their latest, as yet untitled project] by saying Octavia’s got to be paid the same as her. She actually upped Octavia’s quote for that movie because she took a salary cut.
I think Caucasian women have to stand in solidarity with us. And they have to understand we are not in the same boat. Even a lot of female-driven events in Hollywood, like power luncheons – which I’ve been to, and are awesome by the way – there will be 3,000 women in that room and five of them are women of color. And it’s by invite! So, you’re not even inviting us.
Davis also touched on her own past #MeToo stories. Although not very specific, she talked about 26 men harassing her in less than 25 minutes in one day. She said:
Oh no, not only do I have my own story, I have my own stories. I am telling you, I have had men touch me in inappropriate ways throughout my childhood. I have had men follow me on any given day – and I am saying during the day, at one o’clock in the afternoon – and expose themselves to me.
I remember one day, when I was 27, waiting at the bus stop in Rhode Island for my niece to get out of pre-school. I was probably there 25 minutes, and I am not lying because I counted, 26 cars drove by with men in them who solicited me, harassed me, yelled at me, verbally abused me. Some of these men had baby seats in the back. And yeah, it makes you feel like crap, it makes you feel like, what would a childhood be if that were removed? And it’s hard to separate that stain from who you are. You tattoo it on yourself. Those personal experiences have allowed me to feel compassion for the women who have spoken up.