Viola Davis on Oscars Boycott: The Problem Is With Moviemaking  

The actress recognizes that if black people aren’t cast in roles, or black movies aren’t being made, that’s where the problem starts.

Actress Viola Davis attends Elle’s 6th Annual Women in Television Dinner at Sunset Tower on Jan. 20, 2016, in West Hollywood, Calif.        
Actress Viola Davis attends Elle’s 6th Annual Women in Television Dinner at Sunset Tower on Jan. 20, 2016, in West Hollywood, Calif.         Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Viola Davis is shedding light on what she thinks is the real problem with the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards. And it’s quite apropos, since it was only last year that Davis made Emmy Award history when she became the first black actress to win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

At Elle’s 6th Annual Women in Television Dinner in Hollywood, Calif., Jan. 20, Davis told Entertainment Tonight that the issue is Hollywood moviemaking itself and the fact that black actors aren’t landing roles and black movies aren’t being made.

“How many black films are being produced every year? How are they being distributed? The films that are being made—are the big-time producers thinking outside of the box in terms of how to cast the role?” she asked. “Can you cast a black woman in that role? Can you cast a black man in that role?

“The problem isn’t even our pay,” Davis continued. “You could probably line up all the A-list black actresses out there, and they probably don’t make what one A-list white woman makes in one film. That’s the problem. You can change the academy, but if there are no black films being produced, what is there to vote for?”

And if there are no black actors being cast in roles, especially roles that someone of any ethnicity could play, then of course there’s going to be a problem.

Davis isn’t attending the Oscars this year, but it’s not out of protest. The actress says she’s going to be on vacation.

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