Viola Davis Says Hollywood Diversity Issue Is ‘Not a Hashtag’

In an interview after her Screen Actors Guild Award win, the actress expressed her issues with Hollywood and its lack of diversity.

Viola Davis poses with her SAG Award Jan. 30, 2016, in Los Angeles.
Viola Davis poses with her SAG Award Jan. 30, 2016, in Los Angeles. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

During Saturday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, Idris Elba, Uzo Aduba, Viola Davis and Queen Latifah took home top honors for their work, and many people tweeted sentiments similar to #SAGAwardsSoBlack, to counter the now infamous #OscarsSoWhite.

After Elba accepted his award, he made a point of speaking about diversity.

“Welcome to diverse TV,” Elba stated. 

But during a backstage interview with Entertainment Tonight, Davis remarked about diversity and how it shouldn’t just be a trending topic.

“We have become a society of trending topics. Diversity is not a trending topic. It’s just not,” Davis stated. “I’ve always considered myself an actor since I got my equity card in 1988. I’ve never put any limitations on myself. I felt like I could play Chekhov, any character in Chekhov and Shakespeare, in Arthur Miller, in August Wilson. I see myself as an actor.

“No matter what is going on in the business, I will find a way to practice my art, and all of the actors of color who I know don’t place any limitations on themselves, either,” she continued. “So regardless of what is going on with the academy, regardless of what is going on in Hollywood, they will find a way to be excellent. We always have and we always will.”

Davis also referred to the numerous people who have stated that they plan to boycott the upcoming Academy Awards.

“People should do what they want to do with the Oscars. If they want to watch it, that’s fine. If they don’t, that’s fine,” Davis stated. Davis will not be in attendance this year because she will be on vacation. 

Davis spoke about how people need to support movies that aren’t big-budget types.