Actor Wendell Pierce (Treme, The Wire and nearly 80 other film and TV roles) may be many things, but one thing he is definitely is not, is a fan of the film The Help. This week he Tweeted a dialogue after seeing the film, and while he had praise for both Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, he said that the film was “a passive version of the terror of Jim Crow South.“
He further explained that after his 80 year old mother saw the film, she revealed to him that she had been employed to raise white children and that “she was hurt by the film.” He further said that his mother still had ugly memories of being banned from the kitchen, denied food for a 12-hour shift and allowed water only from an outside faucet. He also added that: “the insult was that people feel this was harsh when she feels the reality was worse.”
He concluded that “The Help is controversial because of its emphasis on a young white writer who exposes the hardships suffered by maids played by Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis. Hollywood loves the formula: the Great White Savior. I am tired of this cliche.” Well Tyler Perry liked it so I guess it must be all right.
And I have this feeling that Pierce isn’t going to be making any films with Davis or Spencer soon, do you?
On second thought, I may have to give up my resistance to see the film, tough it out and finally see The Help. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!