Monday, February 27, 2012

Now that the Oscars Are Over, Will People Please Stop Talking about "The Help?"

I am so very happy for Octavia Spencer. I think that Viola Davis is a wonderful actress. That said, "The Help," in my opinion, was, at best, a made for television movie.

I know quite a bit about the segregated south during the '60s. Don't ask me how because I don't want to give away my age.

That said, I do not believe that a book written by an African American woman about the life of a maid in the State of Alabama during that period (the early 1960s), would have been anything close to what we got with the big screen adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's book. The book was fiction. Pure and simple. I confess - I saw the movie twice - didn't read the book.

The movie, while it had its enjoyable moments, was unrealistic- no "colored" maid would have put her neck and life on the line to pour her heart out to a white journalist when Emmett Till had been murdered in Mississippi just a few years earlier for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

I do appreciate the work that both Ms. Spencer and Ms. Davis did in the movie. They are both exceptional at their craft. They played the roles that were hired to play. And they played them well. They deserve the highest praise. But it was not real life.


I remain disgusted by the fact that we were portrayed as thieves (did she really have to steal that ring?), battered women (Minnie had a sharp tongue but was abused at home) and Abilene was spoke in broken English ("You "is" kind").

And the pie - the infamous chocolate pie - what a low blow.

I do hope that this opens up more roles for not only Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis, but other black actors.

However, I won't hold my breath.

And now that the big night is behind us, can we get some roles in Hollywood other than maids, prostitutes and drug dealers?

Peace and Blessings,


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