The actress doesn't feel that the film allowed for her character's voice to be heard.
In a recent New York Times interview, celebrated actress Viola Davis reflected on roles she regrets taking. Among them, she listed her Oscar-winning turn as Aibileen Clark in 2011's "The Help." The film, directed by Tate Taylor and co-starring Octavia Spencer and Emma Stone, followed a white woman writing about the experiences of two black maids during the segregation-era South. The film itself was based on Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name.
While Davis commends the cast and Taylor's directing, she feels the narrative fell short of giving a distinct voice to the black women in the film. "I just felt that at the end of the day it wasn't the voices of the maids that were heard," Davis noted, likening her character of Aibileen and Spencer's Minnie to her mom and grandmother. "And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it." Davis didn't hear this perspective in the film.
Director Ava DuVernay, whose 2014 film "Selma" was nominated for Best Picture, took to Twitter with similar feelings about the film, for which she did PR. "That film pushed me to make my own," she noted, expressing gratitude for striking out on her own. Her full tweet can be found below. Davis' latest feature, the Steve McQueen-directed heist film "Widows," lands in theaters on November 16th.