In partnership with

Viola Davis says openness is more important than boycott

2016-02-01 09:25

Los Angeles - Viola Davis thinks "openness" is more important than "boycotting".

The How To Get Away with Murder actress believes it is "fine" for people to attend the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony - which stars including Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith are refusing to go to due to the lack of diversity - and thinks what really matters is what happens at the box office.

Asked her thoughts on the boycott, she said: ''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. I think more importantly, when you walk into a theatre, whether it be a movie theatre or a live theatre, be open to the experience of the story.

"I think that sometimes people feel like stories about people of colour are not inclusive. They are very much inclusive. I mean, the work of August Wilson - which really, pretty much made my career - is everyone's story. So I'm just saying, plop your money down to see Race, to see Dope, to see Straight Outta Compton, to see Selma, to support directors like Ava DuVernay, Lee Daniels, Spike Lee... Their stories are just as valid and as important as anyone else.

"More important than boycotting is openness."

Diversity shouldn't be a trending topic

The 50-year-old actress insists diversity shouldn't be a "trending topic" and has never placed any limitations on herself when it comes to looking for roles because of her ethnicity.

Speaking backstage at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards - where she picked up the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series prize - Viola said: "We've become a society of trending topics. Diversity is not a trending topic. It's just not.

"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 can play Chekov, any character in Chekov, in Shakespeare, in 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 colour that I know don't place limitations on themselves either.

"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."

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.