Monday, September 19, 2016

Topic Of The Day: Paramount On The 'Fence' About Viola's Category Placement?


So far, the movie Fences hasn't been screened yet and in fact wrapped shooting not too long ago. So we don't know whether the film delivers or not quite yet. But it looks like Paramount Pictures could already be caught up in a dilemma of whether or not Viola Davis will be campaigned for Best Lead or Supporting Actress.

I've been reading think pieces on the possibility of Davis going Supporting and in fact, Davis' role itself has had wiggle room in the past with Davis winning the Tony for Best Lead Actress while Mary Alice Smith, who originated Davis' role won the Tony for Best Featured Actress (their version of Supporting).

But in my opinion, if Davis' role is expanded upon, then they should push her for Best Lead Actress. I'm not just saying that because I absolutely despise category fraud. But I think she should be placed in Best Lead Actress because of its significance.

By pushing Davis in Supporting, it is not only an easier way for her to win, but it would be a case of yet another African-American actress winning in Supporting, essentially being put in the sidelines, while only one in its 88 year history has won Best Actress. Davis would have a chance at winning Lead due to her strong overdue narrative and the likely strength of the performance alone so they should seize it.

Also, a Davis win in Lead would prove that not just African-American women can win such a prestigious honor, but dark skinned women as well since they aren't given the same kind of opportunities as women with lighter skin. Look at Lupita Nyong'o. She wins an Oscar and is named People's Most Beautiful Woman yet in her post-Oscar projects, we've heard her more than we've seen her. So for Davis to be the 2nd woman of color to win Best Actress and the first dark-skinned actress to do so, it would be a huge and progressive step. Even if it wouldn't fix Hollywood's diversity problem the following day, it'd be a step in the right direction.

So those are my thoughts on the whole debacle on Viola Davis going Supporting and why I think they should follow through on a Lead Actress campaign if the role is sizable enough. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!