Octavia Spencer says she doesn’t know if ‘The Help’ could be made today: ‘We are scrubbing the history books’
Actress Octavia Spencer said Tuesday that the hit 2011 movie “The Help” would be difficult to make in the current socio-political climate. dangerous” in the 12 years since the film’s release.
“Why can’t the story be told? I think what’s happening in society right now is very, very dangerous because, you know, we’re scrubbing the history books. And if we can’t point to our historical references, and we can’t point out things like that in art, in history, we’re repeating history now, because we’ve taken those truths away,” she said.
“Could ‘The Help’ be made today? I do not know. Should ‘The Help’ be made today? Absolute. It represents real people who have made real contributions to society and have never been rewarded for those contributions,” Spencer added.
VIOLA DAVIS SAYS ‘THE HELP’ WAS CREATED IN ‘BEARER OF SYSTEMS RACISM’: ‘I TREATED MYSELF AND MY PEOPLE’
Based on author Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller, the film was set in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and drew attention to racial discrimination against blacks in the Deep South at the dawn of the civil rights era.
The story follows the perspectives of African-American maids living under the pressure of racism from the white, wealthy Southern families they serve, an aspect that has drawn criticism from one of the film’s stars in recent years.
VIOLA DAVIS ADMITS SHE REGRETS HER PART IN ‘THE HELP’
Spencer’s co-star Davis drew attention in 2020 after she criticized the plot and expressed guilt for starring as the character Aibileen Clark in a Vanity Fair article.
“Not a lot of stories are invested in our humanity either. They’re invested in the idea of what it means to be black, but … it caters to the white audience,” Davis said.
“The white audience can at most sit and get an academic lesson about who we are. Then they leave the movie theater and talk about what it meant. They’re not moved by who we were,” she added.
“The Help” featured the star-studded lineup of Spencer, Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Emma Stone, and Jessica Chastain, to name a few, and garnered praise for its compelling plot.
Spencer received an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, while Davis and Chastain were also nominated for awards.
The film itself was nominated for an Oscar for best picture in 2012, but ultimately lost out to ‘The Artist’.
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Fox News’ Naledi Ushe contributed to this report.