Viola Davis: “We’re in Crisis Mode as Black Actresses”


Viola Davis seems to have had just about enough of Hollywood’s antics. That’s because the Black actress recently called it what it is, catering primarily to her Caucasian counterparts.

Here’s what Viola Davis had to say during Oprah’s Next Chapter:

“We’re in crisis mode as black actresses. It’s not only in the sheer number of roles that are offered and that are out there, but the quality — and therein lies the problem. We’re in deprivation mode because me, Alfre and Phylicia, we’re in the same category. Whereas if you take a Caucasian actress, you have the one who are the teens, in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s — they’re all different. There are roles for each of them. But you only have two or three categories for black actresses, therein lies, because you want to work.

So it’s a natural instinct, if you throw a piece of cheese in a room full of rats, that they’re going to claw at each other.”

Does Hollywood laugh at Afro American actors and actresses, knowing the only way for the majority of them to stay employed is to be cast in Tyler Perry films? Of course. Don’t believe me.. Ask Quentin Tarantino


  1. guess they want black women to play maids again.

    eithet they takew whatever roles given them or they can all take turn strapping it up for tyler perry and his gay little friends.

    but then again there’s mother o maybe she can have ilyana fix their lives if they convert to new age.

  2. good article..especially quoting Viola Davis- one of the finest actresses.

    I think there is an opportunity to make independent films.. but financing is so difficult.

    • True. financing is a big problem. I remember when Spike Lee first hit the scene. He spoke of how difficult it was for him to get financial support to begin making his movies and how even though he had gotten through his first film and it did fairly well, it was still difficult to finance other projects.

    • Coming from the finance industry and being a black woman I would like to add the following…

      We have to create our own options. PERIOD

      One or 5 can debate all day. Make it and episode and air it. However, hopefully they are behind the scenes working on a plan to create.

  3. Oh that’s rich coming from the grown-ass woman who threw a crying tantrum in the ladies room when she didn’t win the Oscar.
    No one told you to choose this career, and if you are upset that there are no good roles for black women, then find someone to write you one.

    • Your comment was, for a lack of a better term….moronic. Your comment was just plain old stupid.

  4. Did anyone mention O as in Oprah
    (did I spell her name correctly?)
    Does she actually help ANY black people who are NOT financially successful & currently doing well?

    Before you answer DO NOT bring up that school fiasco known as that school for girl she opened where the littles girls were being molested.

    • I have come to the painful conclusion that Oprah is only interested in helping the white man get even more. She will happily throw black women under the bus as a proud offering to her white controllers. I made the mistake of thinking that she would enable other black women but she is more happy to enable poor, downtrodden white women who seem to have her ear much better than black women ever could.

        • She probably doesn’t, but I prefer her current OWN programming to BET by a mile. I love Sundays, and the all night re-runs of Dateline: 48 hour mysteries is my guilty pleasure.

          But yes. She could have done so much more. And when she started, I really think she had that as a goal. But at @year 8 her head blew up, and she is insufferable to me now.

      • @Scorpiess-Oprah’s biggest problem is her enormous ego gets in the way of anything she does. Oprah could have done more to help the plight of black actresses but was too busy boosting her own name to be bothered. Instead of doing ego projects like Beloved why not produce and help create projects for other black actresses? And by the way OWN is no longer under oprah’s control. The shareholders and studio heads ousted her after the ratings began to slip. I will say this instead of complaining do what the white women do-start a production company and find projects on your own instead of waiting for hollywood to bring or give you roles. Start charting your own destiny and stop letting the studios/whites/hollywood chart it for you. Get pro active and make it happen. Take some screenwriting classes, go to film school, learn to direct. Find a way to make a career for yourself in this business cuz hollywood wont take care of you.

        • @vermithrax173: Your post really speaks to me. It’s by far one of the most motivational things I’ve read in a while. You are right! What you wrote is the attitude we all need to have!

    • She helps plenty of blacks in and around Chicago. Plus she gives money to Morehouse and Spelman every year. And before you say anything NEGATIVE, tell just HOW MUCH YOU DO. JMO

      • I am not in a position to help anyone at the moment but I do give donations to charities every now and then. If I was as rich as O then I would do more. Maybe one day I will be….

      • @Anonymous2 Please share how she helps plenty of blacks in and around Chicago. Perhaps I’ve overlooked something …

        I know about the Morehouse guys. And that’s commendable.

  5. Viola Davis was sooooo beautiful. I felt she was the prettiest there that night. I just wanted to give her her just dues!!!!!

  6. There is enough black money in Hollyweird to ensure that those that want to work should be able to. We need to stop running to the white man and stop expecting him to give to us! He could care less about black women! Tyler Perry might make some crap movies – I don’t know as I have never had the pleasure – but at the end of the day at least he is putting food on the table of some black actresses. White men do not care stop running to them with your hand out!

  7. I don’t know about this one. While I am a Viola fan, she is a gifted talented actress. But, shouldn’t she had known that this is how Hollywood works. The industry hasn’t changed that much since the inception of films with limited roles for black actors and actresses to coons, maids, butlers etc….

    Maybe she thought her talent would open more doors for her but, it’s not working. There are other avenues that she could use her talents in but, she wouldn’t make as much money.

    I wish black people in Hollywood would start pooling their own money to make movies other than the Tyler Perry ones.

    There was a time when black folks were self-sufficient. We had pride. We were movers and shakers. We owned resorts, hotels, hospitals, banks, stores, businesses, movie companies but, not now, I think in some ways integration hurt us.

    Now we are too dependent on the man to give us a hand out. It’s really sad. I wish Viola and all of the other black actresses and actors the best.

    • You are so correct. Integration did not make us EQUAL — it only allows us to be with them — as long as the white man has all the power and money, we can be with them. I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED SEGREGATION AND EQUAL POWER AND MONEY INSTEAD.

      • I believe “integration” was shoved down everyone’s throat NOT for equality but to make sure we never get/go above and beyond them. Anytime we get our own they find/make laws to stop the progression…

        BLACK WALL STREET anyone….?

    • They did pool their money for Spike Lee’s Get On The Bus but most were busy buying blonde weaves, standing on corners and twerking that movie weekend. No Support

    • “I wish black people in Hollywood would start pooling their own money to make movies other than the Tyler Perry ones.” EXACTLY!

    • There are so many black actresses and actors that have started production companies. They are TRYING and it takes so much money to get a project funded.

    • I agree and we also have to stop saying black people need to come together, on one hand, and then bash Tyler Perry on the other. It’s a contradiction.

      • I wonder if Tyler Perry ever reached out to Robert Townsend. This man paved the way for many actors and now I don’t hear anything about it.

  8. I enjoyed this meeting of the minds between the 6 accomplished women very much. There was that awkward few minutes when I thought that Gaby Union was going to cause Phylicia Rashad to have a massive stroke, but thanks to Alfre and Viola it passed however awkwardly.
    I imagine there were quite a few “CUT”!s though, judging from Phylicia’s facial contortions which were ever present until the end. Even Oprah commented at the very end that her producers had told her(at one of the breaks) that watching PR’s expressions were the high point of the show.
    Even though she is very much, and deservedly so, the artiste’, I completed understood and felt much empathy for Viola. It must be difficult to be as talented as one must be to carry a Broadway show and be rewarded with a Tony, and then take on a role(The Help’s Aibileen)which you know from the jump is going to bring a great deal of criticism from your people. But as an artist she needs to express herself through her art, and when the material you are offered is limited to unappealing roles, you have to make decisions which split you right in half. I could not agree with her more than when she said that Olivia had a much easier time of it because she was able to express her hatred/disgust for her employer by making that special pie, which served to bring her a subtle tacit approval from the audience. Whereas, V will forever be associated with the line, “you is pretty, you is smart and you is important”. I thought she did a tremendous job bringing great dignity to a character living in a time when dignity was hard to come by.
    The real high point of the evening was not the Black Actress roundtable. It was the Bill Duke documentary which followed. “Dark Girls” was no less than an exquisitely poignant film about learning to not just accept, but love your dark skin. This subject is all too often the cause of some pretty heated discussions here, and I truly wish everyone gets the chance to see it.
    I admit I have not had the benefit of first hand
    knowledge in this sensitive subject, because where I come from everyone pretty much looks the same.
    And then when I left New Orleans to start my adult life, I became “the Black chick” because at my school of primarily Asians and J e w s(sorry for that but I have learned the hard way if the proper spelling is present my post will be auto-pulled and the administrator and never see the light of day)I was one of a relatively small Black student body. Then when I went to work for an airline…I definitely was the Black girl. Not a big deal, I just accepted it. So my ignorance of the tonal strife which goes on in families/communities was not as embedded in me as it was in many here.
    I cried when a light bright girl was holding her precious chocolate baby girl and admitted she was crestfallen when the child was not her shade.
    But I was also moved to tears at the mahogany teen who said she wouldn’t change her shade for all the money in the world. She knew she was beautiful, and if others tried to make her feel differently she was completely unphased. That is true self esteem.
    So, as much as I may be critical of her at times, I thank the big O for bringing this particular night to an audience who appreciated it.

    The double feature of these shows was the, thus
    far, highest point in the Oprah OWN franchise.

    • Christa — Pls. don’t buy into Josh’s paranoia! When other people post stuff abt Jews & spell it correctly, their posts don’t disappear. Nether do Josh’s — unless he’s coming out his face, like Shit-For-Brains used to to. (And you see they finally banned him.)

    • Christa, I never knew you were from New Orleans, me too:) Small world huh?

      I agree with Hello U. Great post. It was real because I felt every word so I know that it came straight from your heart.

  9. “Tyler Perry films”

    in other words…’BLACK-FACE’ with a ‘MORAL TO THE STORY’.

    probably the worst line of films (along racial lines) i’ve witnessed

  10. Gabrielle Union and Philicia Rashad (why is she still toting Ahmad Rashads muslime name?) had the look in their eyes saying, if you put a nice chemical perm in that nappy aass hair you might get some roles as a hoe or sum’n.

  11. That’s ridiculous the real problem is the black women that are hired over women like her are ratchet hoes. It’s not a white woman problem. It’s a nasty black women are shown in lieu of classy black women with skills. Same thing is happening to white women. Britney Spears is still around. The corporations are ruining the World. Maybe some of the older black actresses should make films for the up and comers to star in. It’s not going to build itself.

  12. Black Hispanic women never get hired for anything not even for a maid. Look at the new show The maids produced by a Hispanic woman who only wanted to showcase light skin Latina women.

    • Speaking of which (and I really was 2 days ago), the Spanish speaking tv stations need to be integrated. When I “land” on one of their stations, all you see are Latinos or Spanish. I was thinking that maybe if African American actors and actresses learned to fluently speak spanish, they might have more opportunities. But according to your comment, that wouldn’t work either. SMH. I wonder why no one ever says anything about the Spanish speaking stations. Is it because no one else ever auditions for the roles or is it because they don’t speak the language or is it because they intentionally exclude others? Hhmm…. I wonder about that. Really did mention it in a conversation the other day….

      • Well, not speaking the language would surely be a deterrent so I really don’t understand your argument about the Spanish-speaking stations?

    • Marisol — “Devious Maids” is produced by Marc Cherry & Eva Longoria, a White Latina. Why wdn’t she cast a bunch of Latinas who look like her? Turn on Telemundo or V-Me & 95% of the women on those shows look like Eva.

      Frankly, I’m glad there aren’t any Sistahs in the cast becuz it’s gonna be cxld in a minute. All kinds of folks are complaining that “Devious Maids” is rife w/stereotypes. Poor Eva’s abt to be 0 for 2 this year — her dating show was cxld in record time, now this one’s gonna get the axe. But kudos to her for getting her master’s this year.

      • @RC

        Wait a minute…….so Eva had a dating show!? lmao Where the hell was I at? It was canceled that fast!?!?!?! lmao At least she got Beso! Her restaurant has outlasted J.Lo’s Madres 10 fold!!! lol Jennifer was in over her head.

        • It was on NBC back in April — if you blinked, you missed it. They cxld it after the 2nd episode. It was called READY FOR LOVE. Eva hand-picked 3 bachelors looking for Miss Right (to her credit, they were some fine-ass White men!) & 3 matchmakers to help them choose the right chick. She also had Bill & Giuliana Rancic as the hosts, which I think is what killed the show. Folks wanted to see Eva every week, not them.

          And when did Madre’s close? I thought it was still going strong. Well, I’m glad Eva bested J-Ho in the restaurant biz! I hear she even shows up @ Beso & makes the guacamole on the wknds sometimes.

    • she wanted to showcase WHITE HISPANIC WOMEN.

      and please don’t tell me theres no such thing as a white Hispanic. It all started from SPAIN AND PORTUGAL . They didn’t speak Spanish in Africa.

    • Truth be told, and you didn’t hear this from me, I think they threw her in as the token “hot one”.
      Kerry Washington wasn’t interested I spose.

        • Why do you think they chose a rather random young, in comparison to the others, actress best known for Bring It On, Deliver Us from Eva and Think Like A Man? None of her roles were iconic in any way.
          The other women have been nominated for and received numerous awards. If it wasn’t a case of spotlighting a “pretty girl” alongside the gifted
          actresses, what else could it be?
          It was like having an Inside the Actors Studio
          with Pacino, Nicholson, Poitier, Hanks and Kevin Hart.

          • Christa, don’t let he B-movies fool you — Gabby has serious acting chops. But like too many Sistahs in Hollywood, she takes the roles she can get, rather waiting around for roles where she can really shine.

            Rent CADILLAC RECORDS & check her out.

    • Gabby received an award from Esscence, and instead of her just thanking God, her producers, and all of her fans; she used that opportunity as a platform to share what she had just learned.

      Gabby said that she was seeing A.J. Johnson who is now a life coach, and A.J. helped her to really look in the mirror at herself and what’s going in with Black actresses within this industry.

      So that’s why she was there.

      • Essence, just like BET is owned by the enemy of black people………….Lets stop pretending and lets stop sending out children out in the world unprepared for whats out there as it pertains to the system of global white racism.

        95% of us don’t tell our children the truth and prepare them for reality of the system of racism and white supremacy for fear that they wont put forth their best effort…I disagree with that prognosis and think its a very serious tactical error….We are the ONLY people who don’t prepare our children out of fear …We need to love them more and tell them the stats and the factual history/…..ever-y day.


  13. Until African Americans, regardless of their chosen profession, get out of the mindset of waiting for others to provide them with an opportunity vs making their own opportunities, nothing is going to change.

    There is whole lot of money in black entertainment. A WHOLE LOT. There is no reason these people cannot all get together and create a black production company and/or studio and invest in it. Over time the problem could solve itself.

    Stop thinking like workers and start thinking like owners.

    Say what you want about Okra but she’s got that OWN shit down! Own yourself, your talent, your skills, and your destiny. She’s a coon for sure but as the old folks say even a fool can tell you something sometimes.

    • you are foolish if you think Oprah owns shit. she’s just the face. Can you even imagine the powerful people funding her in the background?

      • Oprah was the first and only talk show host to purchase her show back from the largest syndication company in television King World. Without that move, she would merely be a multi-millionaire and not a billionaire. She owns her studios and a controlling share of her network. If that is not owning shit, what is??
        Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Denzel and Will all are paid by J E W ish studios and production companies. That is not owning shit.

      • Leave it to a big mouthed idiot to come blazing in popping off at the mouth with an empty brain. Oprah OWNED the rights to the Oprah Winfrey show. She also OWNED the production company (Harpo studios) which producted the show. Harpo Studio also produced all of Oprahs movies and her radio program.

        You are an idiot. Please go educate yourself.

        What do you own except for a big mouth and an empty brain?

    • I agree totally, however i do agree with anon as well, who responded to u 1st. I feel, there’s bigger world out here besides america, these sisitas needs to get out of their comfort zone. It have past the time for sistas to step out of america for bigger achievment, i hope this generation & the next do what the last did’nt do, thats open up seeing the world in color,not black & white.

  14. I miss the days of sexy looking black like, lela rochon, robin givens, teresa randell, alycia rogers (class act movie, she plays kid’s love interest & rickys babymomma)what happen to chocolate beauty like them ?!!!

  15. I could tell u how george clooney finances his films but i dont feel like listening to the bullshyt that will come with sharing it. So fuck it.

    • I have no idea how he does it, but I know that he works with basically the same team: Soderbergh, Heslov and a couple of tight friends whose names I can’t recall in nearly every film. And, and this is the one thing I admire about his choices, he will just as soon do a small character driven film where he looks like shit intentionally, unlike the box office mega-popcorn flicks Cruise and Smith do. Or the “important” Spielberg films w/Hanks and the tiresome and never ending over directed DeCaprio/Scorcese films.

      Two of my favorite films of the last 10 years were starring Clooney as a burnout case: Michael Clayton and Syriana. I don’t care much for him as a romantic lead, but he acted the shit out of those two complex roles.

      Care to drop a few hints K???????;)

      • He takes scale or no pay and puts up the Italian villa as collateral each time. He stars in it to get insured. He films them all in 33 days or less. He takes back end but ensures studio makes money to film another day.

        • Keepit @ 18:25. Very very fascinating. This is the first truly virgin(to me)tea I’ve come upon in ages. Thanks for the “pour” K.

          So the villa on Lake Como gets a lot more “action” than just being the site of GC’s assignations with the pretty boy models of Milan?

          • U got it. Lol. On the real tho george has become one hell of a screenwriter and his directing isnt horrible. Good night good luck, and ides of march were extremely well written. He doesnt really use a lot of hollywoods money. Black stars could replicate his formula but they need writers. Tyler and spike both suck at female dialogue. George writes, produces and directs at a much higher level than both of them. And he doesnt cram yet another annoying dolly shot down ur throat ala spike. Lol.

        • I thought he portrayed a middle aged man lost in an emotional sea of confusion very well.

          I spect you may be a bit young to understand what that looks and feels like. No disrespect.

          • In fact if anyone wants to write or has a child studying it the descendents is excellent at ratchetting up the conflict for the main character. Youre about to become wealthy. Your wifes in a coma. Your wife was having an affair. An affair with the man youre doing the deal with to get wealthy. The layers just kept coming. I think oscar noms nowadays are for performance plus risk.

          • I’m 42 years old and was in theatre from seven until eighteen. Clooney’s scene at his wife’s deathbed, in that movie, was over the top and over played. He had no subtly in his performance during any of the pivotal emotional scenes. He’s fine as long as he’s playing a version of himself.

    • Clooney is a major commercial whore in Europe and Asia. His face is all over Italian TV selling coffee and booze in Japan. That’s how he fiances his films.

      • Did you not see Lost in Translation? There is a long history of top Hollywood “movie only” stars who would not deign to do a TV commercial in the US
        going to Europe and Japan and making somewhat corny TV shoots for the $$$ they would get for a film.
        They also do a tremendous amount of voice over work in ads right here at home. Both endeavors provide
        major enrichment in very little time/effort.

    • Exactly…smdh
      And, quite frankly “all the anonymous poster with the all knowing overtones” has gotten to be not worth discussing anything with anyway so like you I say …fuck it too!

  16. Black Pearl said, “I wish black people in Hollywood would start pooling their own money to make movies other than the Tyler Perry Ones”

    Black Pearl the last time four rich black men pooled their money to start a black music distribution company, the alphabet gangsters shut them down. One of them went to prison.
    The few super rich black people in this country won’t help their OWN in a monumental way. They know the consequences for doing so. Remember the teachings of Dr. Umar Abdullah Johnson, “In order for blacks to be rich in America, you must pledge allegiance to white supremacy”

  17. “I miss the days of sexy looking black…”

    In the 90’s decade, black films and black celebrities were becoming too powerful and making too much money. Friday and Waiting to Exhale are perfect examples. Friday was produced for less than 5 million dollars but made over 50 million. Teenage white boys were lusting after Nia Long instead of Sandra Bullock. Waiting to exhale, a movie featuring four black women was number one in the box office. That has never been done before ever.
    White people especially white actresses felt threatened! The majority of black actresses were black listed. Only Ms. Monsters Ball and King Latifah were able to get signigicant work. Lela, Nia, Vivica and the great Angela Bassett were shut out!

    • Lela was actually on her way, she was most def halle competition, but messed up when she got with antwan!!

  18. My personal opinion is to approach films the same way rappers completed their albums on pro tools in the basement. Now obviously u cant shoot a film in a basement but a similiar concept could work nides of march, the descendents, mike clayton, do the right thing, etc can be in the can simply seeking distribution. It doesnt have to be a 100 mil blkbuster. Several blk a listers can afford that. Jmo

    • Ms. REG: If you discover that one of the staff members (it was a matron, not a teacher) at the best school in yr state was accused of abusing a child, wd you shut down the entire school & deprive everyone of their shot at a good education? Or wd you fire the accused perpetrator & do everything you could to make sure nothing like that happened again?

      The So. African authorities arrested Virginia Makopo, conducted an investigation & a trial. She was found not guilty. Oprah herself said she was ” profoundly disappointed at the outcome of the trial”. You can read abt it here:

      Why do you want to blame Oprah for something one of her employees (allegedly) did? She’s has no more control over the actions of others than you do. And there’s been no hint of any sort of problems at The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy since. In fact, her school had its first graduating class last year & all 72 girls earned full college scholarships.

      But since you refuse to give her any credit for that:

      Since 1989, through the Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholarship Fund, Oprah has paid for more than 400 Black men to attend Morehouse College. And she continues to do so every year.

      How many Blackfolks have YOU sent to college that weren’t related to you?

      How many other rich Blacks can you name who have sent even 40 Black men to college, much less more than 400?

      I have issues w/Oprah too, but you really shd give credit where credit is due.

  19. I agree with Viola 100 percent! However THE BLACK RACE is in crisis as well. Brothas have abandoned their race and devalued black women. What they are experiencing among black actresses in BOLLYWOOD is called “THE DOMINO EFFECT”!

    • @ms. black

      Don’t lump all brothas together! I know PLENTY, and I do mean, PLENTY that love ALL women but would NEVER “abandon” black woman or degrade them.

    • Not all bros. And please, can we talk about sistas roles. After all, women are children’s first teachers. Men will follow the the tone set by women. If women (knew to) set higher standards, men would have no choice but to fall in line .. or sleep with other men. lol

      • Gimme a break. American BW are FORCED to do the man’s role due to punks abandoning their kids. Nobody likes to admit the fact that the majority of Black American men abandon their kids look around, facts.

  20. Whitefolks can have the superhero roles — I don’t care for those loud-ass special fx movies. Acting for the green screen is a bore. Sure, if you get to star in one & it’s a hit, then you’ve got a franchise cash cow — but that’s abt greed, not acting.

    As for Voila & the rest of the talented Sistahs in Hollywood, they need to stop bitching abt the lack of work & START CREATING PROJECTS FOR THEMSELVES! Why can’t a couple of them get together w/a good director (Ava DuVernay, Lee Daniels) & sponsor a screenplay contest for scripts written by & abt Black women? YT has dozens of indy screeplay contests every year (Scriptapalooza, BlueCat, etc).

    The writer of the winning script gets a $10k prize (which will easily be covered by the $40 entrance fee). The actresses get a slew of scripts to choose from with good, meaty roles for Black women. The director gets to work with top-shelf Black talent in a film abt Black people’s lives. If women like Halle & Viola & Angela are behind it, the publicity will ensure that they can pull together the necessary financing & eventually get a distributor. Once they got their ducks in a row & picked a kick-ass screenplay, I guar-an-tee you Oprah wd finance the movie! Then we’d finally have someone other than Tyler Perry showcasing Black actresses on the big screen.

    You may have written a kickass movie, but you can’t get it into the hands of any actors unless you have an agent to rep you. And writing isn’t like acting — there are no cold calls for screenwriters. You can enter writing contests, but when yr script specifies Black characters, I think the readers automatically lost interest. Becuz White is the default setting for everything in Hollywood, most White people don’t want to imagine themselves as Black person, period. But a contest where all the scripts are abt Black people & Blackfolks are doing the reading, you have a fighting chance.

    It wd be a win-win for everybody. And I know I ain’t the first person that have this idea over the last 20 yrs. So hel-lo Voila, how come it hasn’t happened yet?

    • I just received an email solicitation to invest in a black superhero movie by an invedtment capital group out of Atlanta.

        • I can share the working title in a few days. Theyre still getting ducks in a row. I get 4 or 5 of those a year. Some are legit. Some are scams. I trust the source on this one. He has a great deal to lose including political connections.

  21. Hollyweird doesn’t care about WOMEN period. It doesn’t matter what color you are. You have to be some guy’s wet dream and under 25 to get parts because the major movie goers are men under 25. Everything over 40 goes to Meryl Streep. She must have screwed the devil for her longevity. Don’t believe me? Just go look at the current line-up. Pretty soon everything will be digital cartoons or from comic books. ALL actresses are complaining about this. My answer is to do theatre.

    • Sad as I am to say it, you are right on the money Too Much.

      That famous studio head who booted an accomplished, deserving actress from a role after seeing the daily rushes, was said to have stated “Get rid of her. I don’t want to fuck her and the audience won’t either.” And with that she was replaced.

  22. “Do theatre” — Riiight. Which means you must be White becuz theater is the MOST elitist art form on earth (w/the possible exception of the ballet). The vast majority of Blacks can’t afford to go to the theater when tkts to a Broadway show are $200 a head. I’ll bet Off-broadway is at least $60 a head now, which is a shame. When I was a kid we used to go into the city to see plays, as a family & via class trips. Now, most middle-class people can’t afford to take their children to the theater, which is why kids who don’t get to study acting from a young age generally don’t care abt theater.

    And who told you that “everything over 40 goes to Meryl Streep”? Since this time last year, I can think of at least 5 actresses over 40 who appeared in fairly high-profile movies that were well- received by the critics. (I didn’t check the grosses, I’m just remembering the ones I saw or heard abt):

    Halle Berry (age 46) co-starred in CLOUD ATLAS opposite Tom Hanks.

    Susan Sarandon (age 66) co-starred in ARBITRAGE – & looked good doing it.

    Helen Mirren (age 67) played the wife & collaborator of one of Hollywood’s most iconic directors in HITCHCOCK.

    Viola Davis (age 47) & Holly Hunter (age 55) both appeared in WON’T BACK DOWN, a drama abt education in a poor city school.

    Rachel Weisz (age 43) co-starred in that Wizard of Oz remake OZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL.

    Didn’t see Meryl in any of those movies. So clearly there IS work for actresses north of 40 & she’s NOT getting all those roles.

    And that’s w/out including all the older women working on those cable tv shows I don’t get to see like House of Cards, Boss, Veep, etc.

    White actresses over 40 w/skills are getting PLENTY of work in Hollywood — it’s Sistahs who are scrambling.

    • There is theatre work for various colors. Theatre is much easier to finance and much more open to different story lines than film.

      Halle Berry, as far as I know, hasn’t gotten on a stage. Rita Moreno makes her money doing theatre and lives quite nicely, as do many older actresses.

    • Those actors you mentioned, ALL complained about not getting roles because they go to younger women. Theatre is not just Broadway. There are exclusively black theatres, gay theatres, Hispanic theatres, etc.

    • And most people can afford to go to the movies? A family of four would easily pay $100 going to see a movie. Movie tickets in my area are actually MORE expensive than theatre tickets. I can go see a great play by a new writer with decent actors for about $15 where I live, but I’m not going to pay $20 to go see a crap fest movie. There are discount theatre brokers, but even movie matinees are expensive.

      • Well Too Much, pls. tell us where you live, becuz I don’t know ANY city in this nation where you can see live PROFESSIONAL theater for $15! Student productions, sure — but that’s not what I’m talking abt. Folks like Gaby & Viola aren’t trying to perform at yr local h.s.

        And I don’t mean some dinner theater revival of Man Of La Mancha or The Fantastiks — I mean contemporary plays or productions of the classics (Ibsen, Chekhov, Shakespeare, August Wilson) WITH BLACK ACTORS. If you get to see that for $15 a head, do tell where!

        Anyone w/a hi-def digital camera, a location & a cast of willing actors can shoot a movie, edit it on their computer, then shop it at Sundance. If it’s a good film, they can make $$ selling the foreign rights even BEFORE the film has even been seen in a theater. If it was self-financed, you’d be able to cast the actors you wanted from Day One. All of which can provide more film work for Black actors who choose to go that route. Not so with a play or musical.

        It costs a small fortune just to workshop a play so that you have something to show investors in order to get financing to mount a full production for Broadway. (And you still have to preview a play for the theater owner/manager in order to book it for a Broadway run — that doesn’t happen when you’re booking a movie theater.) Investors backing a play or musical want those roles filled by actors with the widest public appeal. But White people generally do NOT want to pay big bucks to see Black actors on stage. They’d rather watch actors who look like them.

        Don’t take my word for it — look it up yrself. Here’s a list of the top 10 theatrical productions currently running on Broadway. The cheapest tkt costs $92. All the productions are musicals, there’s not a straight play listed there.

        I do know that Tom Hanks is currently appearing in Lucky Guy at the Broadhurst theater & co-starring w/Courtney Vance. So Vance is the only well-known Black actor currently working on B’dway.

        They don’t call it The Great White Way for nothing, Too Much.

        • So Courtney aint home in the evenings for awhile? Like warm cocoa butter Angie baby.

      • The only oles in the list I mentioned that were age-appropriate for Meryl were in HITCHCOCK & ARBITRAGE. Meryl Streep is NOT the 1st choice for every female role in Hollywood!

  23. Oprah did what was necessary–and–she has helped to make progress for blacks in all fields.

    I wish that there were more black female role models like when I was younger–Pam Grier, Tamara Dobsin, Lola Falana…Strong, black, Sexual, Sensual, kick-ass women.

  24. Lets be honest.
    By a show of hands.

    the discussion about racism and white supremacy?

    They didn’t want to talk about it because they felt by talking about it would put us at a disadvantage and make us feel we cant succeed.

    I will never send my children out into this world under this system of racism and white domination uninformed of their history…I think that’s a criminal offense against them and out Holy Ancestors.

  25. My parents had The Talk w/us but it had a different slant becuz both parents were minorities but only my my father was Black. We were told to A) Never disrespect the cops & B) Not everyone is a racist, but racism is a fact of life. In most cases, whatever it is you want, you’ll have to work harder to get it & to keep it, esp. if the Whites you’re dealing w/are jealous of you.

    So you factor that in & you keep on keepin’ on.

  26. I like comic book films. I am waiting for the Black Panther to be made…hopefully with Idris Elba as The Black Panther.
    Anyway. I used to write mainly sci fi and horror, but its extremely hard for scripts to picked up. (I’m a black female btw)
    Anyways, I was following that gal who did Awkward Black Female, because of her cross over appeal I just knew she was gonna take off any open more doors for actors of color. She seemed to have fallen off.
    Best Man 2 is coming out maybe John, Spike and them will get off they butts and keep up the momentum. There are a lot of black stories to be shared. I thought someone would do Emperor of Ocean Park but I couldn’t even get through that book but some folks might like to see that story being made.

    • I like comic book films too, so let me ask you a question, “Do you think that Halle Berry should have been cast as Storm?

      Personally, when I think of that character I see Grace Jones. Eric Jerome Dickey has taken The Black Panther to another level, and his books are the same, but this man to me does not get the props that he deserves.

  27. No! Halle shouldn’t have played Storm. A tall dark skin woman from an African country should have gotten the role. Halle was the most popular black actress and slept with some of the most powerful producers and directors. Also Halle passes the paper bag test. That’s why she played Storm. I’m pissed that Zoe got the role for Nina Simone. Hollywood hates black people!

  28. Finally someone is honest! Not hating on Halle but she is nothing like that character. You’re right, instead of hiring a Black woman with a wide nose and natural hair, they hired Zoe and slapped a afro wig and a fake nose on her. I read somewhere that Ms. Simone’s granddaughter will be doing a real version of her. I’m with you, “Hollywood Hates Black People!”

  29. if violala dont look just like oppy they must be sisters lol! first of all viola is only shedding the light on a dirty room that was dirty way before any one spoke about it.they never wanted black women on film black actresse have to remember we started out playing roles of mammy servants whores bafoons or shadow on the wall besdie the white mistress.basicaly ish hasnt really changed were still were we started when we have just a few black directors there shouldnt be any complaint about not getting that acting job! we need more black directors to give out more