‘Stop taming us,’ actress says
Actress and producer Viola Davis gave a rousing speech about leadership and authenticity to a wellheeled crowd of Hollywood power players Wednesday morning at the Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment breakfast.
Davis, who was being honored with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, said that she doesn’t always come to mind when she thinks of the idea of leadership but that she is trying through her production company to embrace women of color as they really are.
“There is no limit to how we see narratives with people of color,” Davis said to a rapt crowd that included Mandy Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Awkwafina, Rita Wilson, “Roma” breakout Yalitza Aparicio and Kesha. “There is only so much I am going to kowtow to this business.”
She said she and her husband Julius Tennon started JuVee Productions because she was tired of celebrating movies that didn’t have “me in it.”
“I don’t mean me Viola,” Davis said. “I mean me as a black woman.”
She urged those in power in Hollywood to show more authentic black female characters.
“My main message is ‘stop taming us,’ she said.