Is Viola Davis a Victim of Hollywood’s Bias Against Black Women?


By Victor Trammell

On Tuesday morning (January 24th), Viola Davis (pictured) officially received an Academy Award nomination for her role in “Fences.”

According to The Mercury News, Davis, 51, has been added to the list of contenders to receive the Best Supporting Actress accolade at this year’s Oscars Award show. It’s an understatement to say that 2016 was an extraordinary year for Davis. 2017 is already shaping up to be another stellar year for the gorgeous and talented actress and producer.

Davis finally got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier this month. The Oscar nomination she just received is another great addition to the long list of achievements Davis has gotten throughout the course of her illustrious career in television and film.

However, others still argue that the recognition that Davis has been blessed with as of late is not enough. Martha Ross, a reporter for The Mercury News penned a substantive opinion-editorial for the media source, which was published online Monday.

In her piece, Ross raised the question of whether Davis may still be a victim of systemic racial bias in Hollywood despite the fact that she has finally gotten the honors she deserves later in her career.

It is worth noting that the white male-dominated world of television and film has been very reluctant to properly acknowledge the brilliance and worth of black actresses the same way white actresses are valued. This reality was brought to light during last year’s #OscarsSoWhite social media movement.

“Hollywood hasn’t fully come to terms with the still complicated ways it views women of color, women of a certain age and women in general,” Ross wrote.

On the other side of this debate, some people feel that black actresses and black actors should not always equate white acceptance from the mainstream with overall career success. Davis has been able to do a lot for her race and native community without winning a Golden Globe or Oscar.

She also owns her own television and film production company, which is something that some star-studded white entertainers in Hollywood have not been able to do throughout their long careers. Is an Oscar nod or win still relevant for black entertainers? Maybe. But then again, maybe not.

One can certainly accomplish a heck of a lot financially in America’s movie industry without getting all the glory.







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