Viola Davis calls for change in Hollywood through 'individuals contributions'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 5 January 2017
Viola Davis

Viola Davis

'The Help' star Viola Davis says the lack of diversity in Hollywood will change if individuals step forward and support the cause

Viola Davis thinks positive changes in the representation of diversity in Hollywood can come through "individuals contributions".

The acclaimed 51-year-old actress insists the number of films with non-white actors in lead roles will only rise if everyone supports the cause in their own ways, from cinema goers who can choose to see certain movies to studio bosses who have the power to bring certain stories to the big screen.

Commenting on the outcry in 2016 over the lack of diversity in the Academy Awards nominees list, she said: "People talk about diversity and why are the Oscars so white? And what's missing is the individuals contribution to changing it, you can't change it without putting down your money to go and see one of those 'so called' diverse movies. And you can't change it if you're a studio exec and you're not green lighting those stories. Because the talent is out there and the voices are out there."

The 'Doubt' actress admitted she's grateful that her talent was spotted despite being far from the typical Hollywood starlet and she is now determined to pass "the baton" to other minority actors.

She told Deadline: "I'm 51, I'm an African American actress of a certain hue and a certain size, all of those things, and I know I definitely would not have reached this point in my career without people who saw vision and the scope to see my talent and the different narratives that I could fit into. So that's my way of giving back, of passing the baton onto other actors' voices like me, because that's the only way you'll see change."

Viola and her husband Julius Tennon set up a production company JuVee together and the actress admits it's her husband that is the driving force behind the project.

She added: "I'm riding the coat tails of my husband who really is the driving force in front of JuVee Productions, really because he's a man of great vision."

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