Black people flocked to theaters in 2011 to see The Help, a movie set in the 1960s about a maid who helps an aspiring author document the lives of Black maids in the South. But one of the film's stars, Viola Davis, who earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, now regrets taking the role of a maid to a racist Southern belle.

Davis, 53, uttered one of the movie's most memorable lines: "You is kind, you is smart, you is important". But now she sees the error in her decision to take the role of domestic help.

Davis told the New York Times “it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard.”

She continued:

"I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom. 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. I never heard that in the course of the movie."

Photo by Dave Bedrosian/Future Image/WENN.com

  • Ryan

    "Black people flocked to theaters in 2011 to see The Help,"

    I see we got jokes today!! LOL

  • dontgetblocked

    That role put her on the map to do better things. Just be grateful.

  • Joy King

    Wow, The Help was one of my favorite movies. I loved Viola in it. I thought she should've won an Oscar. I heard the voices of the maids loud and clear. I received the message. She is such a beautiful and talented woman.

  • Chaseboogie The Prince

    Viola at the time you needed the work, you needed the money, you weren't as big as you are now. Had it not been for 'The Help' you may not have gotten the roles you have now. Be grateful, be humble and know that that movie was just a building block for the great work you are doing now. Now if you do this role in 2019.... then have some regret.

  • Junkanoo

    Hollywood could make more of an effort to chose better books to adapt to films that give a richer narrative in the voices of the black experiences there a lot of better books out there than The Help written from the perspective of a black maid.

  • http://educate-empower.org Educate2Empower Inc.

    She and her husband have a production company and will now be able to make the kind of films they want to make. We do better when we know better.

  • Coy little wink

    I still l haven't watched this movie

    Perspective changes and hindsight is 20/20

  • Alextra Ballard

    Chiiiile....you read the script,you knew the plot...so why did you take the role? To late for regrets.

  • TMW

    The movie was pretty close to the book. And the book was written from the perspective of Skeeter (the sympathetic white woman), and was a “white saviour narrative.”

  • Alextra Ballard

    Me neither...prolly never will

  • Rayne

    You is too late, you is read the script and knew what It was, you is pretty and you hair is pretty on you. Sholl is ?

  • Rayne

    Only part I liked and I’ll rewind it to death is when Minnie fed that lady shit ? anyone?

  • TMW

    Right, why was there an expectation that it would be something else? The movie aligned perfectly with the book.

  • TriniHarlem

    Nothing wrong with that perspective at all. However some numb nut will find negativity with this.

  • Yui

    Black people flocked to theaters in 2011 to see The Help

    ———-

    I don’t know any black people in my personal life who flocked to see that movie. Js

  • Alextra Ballard

    Exactly... dass my point!

  • The Shy Cookie

    Me too

  • Gloria

    It wasn't a bad movie and of course, I heard the book was wonderful. Soooooo..... why can't people just be humble and grateful for opportunities? Geesh....

  • Solstice

    The book was great! I read the book years before the movie came out. They did a good job with the movie. It was depicted well in conjunction with the book. ???

  • http://educate-empower.org Educate2Empower Inc.

    That's her point. She regrets taking the role!

  • SJ

    I'm pretty sure she's speaking retrospectively, meaning she's looking back on it and perhaps she could've done things differently knowing what she knows now. But honestly, she made the choice best for her at the time and has gotten better because of it. That's the most important thing.

  • Trace da Ace

    ok....so my boss (white lady) has a sticky note on her desk that says that shit “You is kind, you is smart, you is important”......and I just saw that shit last week when I went to her desk....now I immediately felt some way because of the obvious Ebonics....but I wonder why she had that on her desk.....should I really feel a way...or naw....my emotions are raw right now...so how I am thinking may not/ may be the logical choice......thoughts?

    ps... I have not yet seen "The Help"....something about that movie has always rubbed me wrong....so I chose not to see it....

  • CookieMobster

    I don't think you should take offense. One of the maids tells that to one of the white children she helps raise, because the mother is cruel and uncaring.

  • MistaO

    Let it ride, don't say or react in any way. She could be trying to provoke a reactiom from you.

  • Alextra Ballard

    I guess that's were that hindsight is 20/ 20 comes into play.

  • lovelygamour

    viola davis is just trying to not look bad. she had the chance to be in the first group of "yeah for women". instead she said nothing. so now that its dying down she wants to speak and get some press. "

  • Trace da Ace

    Ok, thank you....cause for real...you have to watch some of these white folks...cause they will try to sneak diss on the low...and I'm not the one....

  • MistaO

    I must say though...beautiful skin in that pic!!

  • lovelygamour

    she needs the pep talk but doesnt want to seem vulnerable. so she can laugh the picture off. i take that picture as a cry for help.

    i just had a situation llike this with a worker at tim hortons. she used the term "ghetto" to describe a store in relation to a store further out. i think she considers herself ghetto. but i didnt care for it and i will be watching her in the future. she has a family with a white man so its not an interracial thing. she talks well to black peopl,e but i still wont feel comfortable with her until i see her more.

  • Miss Thang

    Viola is so pretty to me.

  • Tlowe89

    Lmao I can’t

  • Miss Thang

    I saw the movie. The part that rubs me the wrong way is it is supposed to be a "comedy" but ain't nothing funny about the lives those maids lead. It's not just the poverty, it's the racism.

  • Tamika Wallace Guy

    maybe your boss relates to the little girl that it was said to. her mother never encouraged her for paid attention to her. abilene was there to do what her mother should have. i think you should watch it.

  • Trace da Ace

    see and I think that is what is keeping me from seeing it....I just don't think stuff like that is funny.....maybe its just me....

  • Mister Fantastic

    Did she regret that CHECK clearing?

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    The 'black' people in Sandra's social circle.

  • Karen Brady

    *dead*

  • Karen Brady

    Neither can I

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    I agree and disagree...sometimes you have to see a movie just to experience it.... at first I hated 12 years a slave with a passion but when I went to see it (with tears streaming down my face throughout the whole movie) I felt like I didn't let "them" get me all riled up... was I sad for him yes but I felt like I learned something I may not have learned in the first place...

  • Karen Brady

    *CRINE*

  • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

    I’m glad she had second thoughts on that movie. I never saw it because it was obvious that it was from the white chicks point of view and it was white savior type of film. I.e the blindside. I’m always suspicious of movies with whypipo “helping” us.

  • Quitedeliteful

    Snicker...

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    She is probably at a vulnerable moment and needs someone or something to make her feel better...those affirmations are her way or reminding herself that she is loved...

  • Karen Brady

    snicker

  • Karen Brady

    Where you work at? We all coming up there! LOL

  • Kimocha

    Lmao!

  • Quitedeliteful

    Damn right -- and Ima bring the strap!!!

  • Quitedeliteful

    “You is kind, you is smart, you is important”.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    She has a note on her desk with these EXACT words?!? Don't let her get a rise out of you. It's a trap. She wants someone (a Black Person) to go off on her...

  • Miss Thang

    whyyyyyy lmao

  • Quitedeliteful

    You too kind Single. I wanna know why she has affirmations in ebonics on her desk. She needs her head cracked open but Trace da Ace is gonna show some restraint and bide her time and jump her in a dark parking lot when the time is right... LOLLOLLOL!!

  • Quitedeliteful

    LOLLOLLOLLOL!!!!!!!!!!

  • Karen Brady

    *chuckling my azz off*

  • Quitedeliteful

    Well said...

  • Quitedeliteful

    LOLLOLLOL!!!

  • tintin

    leave it alone hun

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    Im trying to take the high road!!!! BWAH BWAH BWAH....But if Trace need me I will be in the parking lot with a bag of nickels...

  • Quitedeliteful

    Did she not read the script before hand??? She did the movie, played the hell out of her role, got an Oscar nod for that role, made her coins and went on to much bigger and better things. I say have no regrets. She knows Hollywood has always loved a Great White Hope type of movie. Move on and continue to be great.

  • Quitedeliteful

    And I'll join you. I got a sock full of rocks...LOLLOLLOL!!!!!!

  • TMW

    So in the movie (and book) the little white girl that Viola’s character (Aibileen) takes care of asks if she is pretty. In response, Aibileen says “you is kind, you is smart, you is important.” So she didn’t want to lie to the girl, but at the same time wanted to communicate that being pretty wasn’t the most important thing about her. Maybe that sticky note is a personal reminder??

    I read the book, liked the book, saw the movie when it was free somewhere - it wasn’t bad. But I like when movies based on books stay true to the books. Viola and Octavia did a good job.

  • the guest

    I wonder how southern white people feel knowing the literal evil and inhumane ways that their grandparents and great grandparents acted against humanity.

    You have to be sick and twisted person to even dream up something like whites only water fountains or throwing rocks at little kids going to school because their skin is a different color.

    Does that kind of demented mindset really change after just two or three generations? Those racist white women in The Help have grandchildren and great grandchildren walking around this planet right now.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Pretty woman.
    Hey, we have all taken jobs, etc & looked back & have been embarrassed.
    It happens.

  • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

    I’m almost positive that they don’t care. They continue to benefit from slavery today.

  • MsPam

    Damn it’s was a role in a movie, it’s not she was a real housekeeper. I hate regular knee grows becoming uppity knee grows.

  • Renee26

    It was an AWESOME movie and I did get an idea of how the maids felt... Looking at their facial expressions and the mistreatment that they gathered to discuss and the fear they felt in doing so or even adding their own tidbits to the book. We know why Mrs. Millie was served that pie... IJS

    And the book was even better

  • Scorpio

    In addition to Viola's character telling the little girl all these things when asked by the girl if she was pretty. Aibileen also wanted to establish self-esteem in the little girl, who's mother was not affectionate to the child and was more into herself than raising the girl with proper mothering attributes. The daughter was an annoyance to her own mother in the movie.

  • TMW

    Yep.

  • Renee26

    Some yt grandparents living today were children witnessing hanging at their family BBQ....it wasn't too long ago

  • Renee26

    I saw her speak before and she mentioned type casting and how hard it is for black actors/actresses to get roles. She said Cecile Tyson was her idol growing up and she went to school to perfect her craft. In her childhood she was bullied because of her looks and chased home by rock throwing whites.

    Viola is very deserving of any accolades she gets!!

  • Quitedeliteful

    I saw the movie and thought they did an excellent job as well...

  • Renee26

    She's reminding herself.... It's southern speak....not just black folk

  • MsVAllDay

    My thoughts exactly!

  • Renee26

    Back then that's what it took though...nobody in power would listen to black people and makw necessary changes... Because of that I didn't view her as "the great yt hope" saving the day

    Skeeter was ostracized herself...those other yt women looked down on her

  • TMW

    The narrative comes into play because a white woman gave them a voice they would not have otherwise had. Like you said, they would not have had their story told otherwise.

  • Logan Roberts

    I'm sure you read the script before you accepted the role. Evidently you needed the money at the time so please hush.

  • chaisun

    Exactly just a generation. My father remembers it, he also remembers them being forced off their land in Alabama during the great migration. I mean Black people are still being hung on a daily basis. Nothing you can say won’t make me feel differently about how evil they are. I’ve traveled the world and they’re the same everywhere I’ve gone.

  • chaisun

    I would feel a way. ????? Historically we know how white woman / people are but we keep giving them the benefit of the doubt. Even with all the comments lol. But again we are the most welcoming, nurturing and forgiving people in the world. They can call us all kinds of names, treat us like animals, enforce their demonic history and we’ll still turn a blind eye and even welcome some of them to the cookout.

  • Haley C

    At least she can look back and realize maybe the message wasn’t for blacks, because hindsight is 20/20. I’m sure it’s hard for blacks in that industry in the beginning to get honorable roles. Always gotta play a stereotypical role, but she ain’t gotta do that no more!

  • Haley C

    Btw I was very uncomfortable when I went to see that movie in theatres, I didn’t like it and everyone in their was white, it was like they were reminiscing “the good old days” ?

  • Renee26

    Just like how women's suffrage had to take the front seat before civil rights... The sad truths of America

  • Dee

    Shyt, a lot of young, middle aged and okd white people are inhuman and evil TODAY. Run into most of those Donald Dump supporters?

  • Dee

    Beautiful teeth and smile.

  • EyeEmJai

    Like another said, "she is very pretty" and " beautiful skin". I concur. That's all I got for this post.

  • hi-liter

    I think she hates those damn Memes y’all made of Abileen, esp the one with her giggling...

    Seriously though, I wonder if she would still hate this movie had she won that Oscar?

  • Yui

    I’m sure they were. ?

  • Li-Wright

    You are so right. She wouldn't hate it if she had won an Oscar. :)

  • TMW

    Exactly. The sad truths they want is to forget. They don’t even teach about these things in schools anymore.

  • Li-Wright

    It was a different time about 50 years ago. It was a Period piece movie. You should have read the book first, then decide if you want to see the movie. The book was a best seller and the majority of people who saw the movie LOVED the book.

  • Li-Wright

    LMAO

  • Miss Thang

    ... it was like they were reminiscing “the good old days”

    "Make America Great Again" lmaoo

  • RentEmSpoons

    Times are changing, bold new world ahead and Hollywood is on board with the black dollar. #Metoo movement and equal rights are at an all time high. The days of only getting recognition for those slave/ servant movie roles are dying. IT took for Trump to get in office for White America to wake up. Still a ways to go, but shit is changing.

    The day of the Geechie is over

    https://youtu.be/8I-m62lNIvQ

  • RentEmSpoons

    Yep

    Check out the movie Hancock with Will Smith. It’s full of symbolism and hidden messages. Him and Peter Berg were poking fun at Hollywood with the plot.

    Basically it was the first black superhero movie. The most peoweful man on earth who happened to be Black was also a fuckup , drunk , and reckless. He got weaker when he got close to a white woman and lost his powers ( Hollywoods past treatment) People never appreciated his good will. It took white man to help him by making him check into prison.

    The movie was full of symbolism and most people never realized. Luckily things seem to be changing.

  • TheThrowbackBeauty

    I didn't see it. Not gonna see it because I knew what she is expressing not only now but back when it came out. She felt this way before she took the role. But like many of us, she got bills to pay. Some people are still pushing baby carriages with white children in them and wiping the asses of old white people because they got bills to pay. I ain't mad at her. Hell, all the jobs I've ever had have been for the benefit of white people. We don't get the option most times to truly connect with the work we do...as black people in this country.

  • ?Patty Kakes?

    To tell you the truth, I don't really remember too much of the movie. What I do remember is when she fell running across the railroad tracks ???? I think she really fell down for real ????

  • the guest

    No different than if Hitler had children and grandchildren. I’d be embarrassed if my grandfather or grandmother stood at the entrance of school protesting a little girl going to school or demanded someone sit at the back of a bus or if my father shot an unarmed kid because all because their skin was different. Guess white privilege offsets the sickness and shame of an evil ancestral history. It’s sociopathic to have no care or shame or human empathy.

  • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

    Hmm I watched it and I don’t remember liking it. I don’t remember much about it, but if I’m not mistaken there was a plot line where him and the white lady were together in another life and blah blah blah. And was he weak around her or was it that she had super powers too? Yeah it’s coming to me. I’d never recommend this movie. There’s nothing progressive in pairing us with yt. Especially in suggesting a black mans natural partner is a ww. No black person is pro black while loving a white person. You can’t be for us and give your time energy and love to yt

  • Malcom Flex

    Good for her. I didn't see that mess because boycott slave, maid and Black pain porn flicks.

  • dontgetblocked

    What is a Geechie?

  • dontgetblocked

    Quietly report it to Human Resources. It will be removed.

  • dontgetblocked

    What is the strap?

  • Bashi22

    So they Jew will make movies about the Holocust , Christian will make movie about Jesus yet still this black lady regret to make movie about factual history in Amerikka. Still she cash in an increase her portfolio. HMMM

  • Quitedeliteful

    That's something that 50 Cent always says. I think it means get your gun.

  • millz

    ?????????

  • GrapeCrush

    The book was much much better than the movie.

  • KcoolMuziq

    Viola(whom I worked with in "How To Get Away With Murder")is the MOST down to earth star of her own major network show. I EVER worked with.

  • Readytochokemothernatureout

    I loved the movie especially the comuppencee scenes

  • http://www.blackartshoppe.com Nyla x BlackArtShoppe.com

    I think maybe when she took that role, she was at a lesser point in her career. Time and success grows you. She may now be more conscious of her influence and impact. I think that's good for her. ?

  • RentEmSpoons

    It’s a line from the movie soldiers story , Martin said it also in the courtroom episode. It used to refer to sambo blacks or the act of tap dancing/ acting foolish at the entertainment expense of whites.

  • RentEmSpoons

    I Agree, especially when it’s forced . I only referenced it pertaining to how hollywood web blacks, burn I only dated a s been in relationships with Black women . I believe anyone should be with who they want , but growing up around black women , seeing what I’ve seen , seeing the hardships and strength of Black women , how can I not appreciate Y’all.

  • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

    I can’t dictate who anyone dates, but I limit my exposure to Hollywood’s propaganda- I really believe you are what u consume.

  • Louisville Is4TheBirds

    Wow what an incomplete article. Where is the rest of the read?

  • Louisville Is4TheBirds

    Nyla!

  • http://www.blackartshoppe.com Nyla x BlackArtShoppe.com

    Lol my bad ?

  • http://www.blackartshoppe.com Nyla x BlackArtShoppe.com

    Disqus said I could unsubscribe to email alerts by replying unsubscribe to their email and they just posted it as a comment instead ??

  • LYRICS

    Now I know I subconsciously feel the same way b/c I never saw that blindside one either! Come to think of it, I haven't seen a good majority of the movies revolving around said topic!!

  • Trace da Ace

    LMAO!!!!! Girl...they dont want "us" up in here acting a fool...prime reason to call the po po's.....

  • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

    You’re not missing a thing !

  • Trace da Ace

    Girl.....if I was not preggo....she could get the business...but then again...I aint trying to go to jail for attempted murder...cause it could get ugly in these parts..lol....

  • Trace da Ace

    lmao sack of nickles...lmao!!!

  • Trace da Ace

    Girl yes!!! it threw me for a loop...like I was shocked as hell!

  • Quitedeliteful

    LOLLOLLOL!!!!!!!! Stay outta the Clink Trace. I'm not tryna send you no care packages!!!

  • Dowoop

    Loved the book. The movie disappointed.

  • RentEmSpoons

    Agree, Facts spoken

  • Raquel

    ??...what?!

  • Eileen

    I like her talent and skills but her fashion sense is ALWAYS lacking! She should call Melody Hobson's stylist. Melody is married to the starwars guy. Melody ALWAYS SLAYS on the Red Carpet. Melody and Viola are the same complexion I don't understand viola's non fashion style. Goggle Melody Hobson Viola and you will understand my point...