Are you a fan of Shonda Rhimes‘ new prime time series, ‘How to Get Away with Murder?’ If not, then you should be. Millions of fans were pleasantly shocked to not only learn what those important ‘9 words’ were during the show’s fourth episode, ‘Let’s Go to Scoop,’ but Viola Davis‘ gutsy move to go natural.
Davis, who plays well respected attorney and professor Annalise Keating, found herself faced with the burden of discovering that her husband, Sam Keating, was having an affair with a deceased student — a case she’s recently agreed to take on.
Keating sits in front her vanity, takes off her well groomed wig, removes her eye lashes and wipes away her makeup — revealing herself in her most natural state.
Although we know Davis is acting, we also know that we are looking at her (the real her) and not the character she portrays. It’s clear, the decision for Davis’ character to remove her “facade” was intentional. The move was powerful and compelling, to say the least, especially for a prime time television series. While the scene was brief, what it did was expose the lengths women of color are sometimes willing to go to look and fit what they’ve been taught is the standard for beauty set by white supremacy for decades.
Davis, who endured an impoverished childhood, has also spoken out publicly about the scrutiny she has faced for being a dark-skinned little black girl. At times, it is the same scrutiny she faces as a dark-skinned black actress in Hollywood. In fact, just recently a NY Times critic, of the show, called Davis “less classically beautiful,” while also calling the show’s creator, Rhimes, an “angry black woman.”
Whether the article was meant for shock value or revealed the critic and newspaper’s true sentiments, it was further confirmation that the image portrayed of black women, especially those with power and influence, need more than some fine-tuning.
In those last 30 seconds of the episode and upon Davis’ reveal, what she has done for women of color and for so many black girls who believe they are not beautiful because they do not fit the standard that’s been perpetuated for so long, is profound. It will forever serve as a monumental moment in prime time and television history.
We salute you Viola, we salute you Shonda Rhimes and we thank you “HTGAWM” writer Pete Nowalk for having the balls to do this! Kudos.
Watch the compelling scene below.
In the essence of praising all things Viola, the actress also gave a compelling speech, recently, on her impoverished childhood, battling hunger, and having to dumpster dive and steal food.
“I didn’t join the Hunger Is campaign to save the world,” the 49-year-old began. “I didn’t. I set out to save myself. They say that you’re never too old to have a happy childhood and although my childhood was filled with many happy memories it was also spent in abject poverty.
“I was one of the 17 million kids in this country who didn’t know where the next meal was coming from, and I did everything to get food,” she continued. “I’ve stolen for food, I’ve jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food, I have befriended people in the neighborhood who I knew had mothers who cooked three meals a day for food, and I sacrificed a childhood for food and grew up in immense shame.”
“The word I would like to eradicate today is ‘unspeakable,’ because I think everything should be spoken,” she continued. “I think everybody’s testimony should be spoken. I think everybody’s shame should be spoken. And the stain that is on this country is that one out of every five children in this country are living in households that are food poor. All the elementary school teachers out there they say that three out of five kids in their class come to school hungry. [This] in the richest country in the world.”
Watch the full speech below and share your thoughts.
Sweethearts what are your thoughts on Viola’s speech on hunger and her ‘HTGAWM’ natural reveal?