Last night Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer had an intense debate with talk show host Tavis Smiley over criticism The Help has received. Davis told Smiley flatly, “That very mindset that you have and that a lot of African-Americans have is absolutely destroying the black artist. The black artist cannot live in a place—in a revisionist place—a black artist can only tell the truth about humanity and humanity is messy, people are messy.”

She also said, “We as African-American artists are more concerned with image and message and not execution, which is why every time you see your images they’ve been wanted down to the point where they where they are not realistic at all, it’s like all of our humanity has been washed out.”

You can see the interview in full below:

Watch Actresses Viola Davis & Octavia Spencer on PBS. See more from Tavis Smiley.


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