*Viola Davis delivered a passionate acceptance speech at the Emmy’s after becoming the first black woman to win for Outstanding Actress in a Drama.
Davis was up against Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), and when she won for her role in ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder,” she told the mostly white Emmy audience, “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
“Let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”
— Sulayman Meek (@sulaymanmeek) October 8, 2015
While Viola’s words moved many across the globe, one celebrity in particular admits that she’s not sure what Viola meant when she said women of color lack “opportunity.”
“I’m not sure what it means,” Goldberg told BET of Viola’s speech. “Opportunity to do what? The truth of the matter is there’s been plenty of opportunity. I mean, ‘Scandal.’ Let’s just start with that. Kerry Washington is there and she’s working her booty off, okay?” she continued. “But they didn’t vote for her. So, maybe the question is, ‘What do you have to do to get voted on?’ That’s the thing…It’s not that the opportunity is not there, because we’ve had lots of opportunities.”
Many black actors would disagree with Whoopi about the availability of quality roles for people of color compared to those for their white counterparts. 5-6 years ago, black actresses like Kerry, Taraji P. Henson and Viola probably would not have been called on to lead a series on primetime television.
Of course we must also remember that Whoopi’s former love, actor Ted Danson, once performed in blackface and used the N-word multiple times, and Whoopi didn’t take issue with that, so perhaps opportunities have come easy to her because she’s willing to give the good ol’ boys a pass and laugh in the face of discrimination and black mockery, especially if that helps propel her career. Meanwhile, many black actors are not here to master the art of shuckin’-n-jivin’ – and so their careers suffer because of it.
What are your thoughts about Whoopi’s comments on Viola’s speech?