Viola Davis Is Hotter Than Charlize Theron

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best performance

This video is so gut wrenchingly douchy that I am warning you not to watch it if you are prone to bowel obstruction.

 

“I’m a 46-year-old black woman who really doesn’t look like Halle Berry, and Halle Berry is having a hard time,” said Davis.

Katherine Heigel interrupts and says,  “You have to stop saying that, because you’re hot as shit.’’

And then everyone starts filming an episode of Sesame Street.  Christoher Plummer deserves on Oscar just based on this video.  His colleagues are all stabbing themselves in the genitals next to him, and he doesn’t flinch.  “Do you think that [racism] is changing?” asks Michael Fassbender earnestly as he bleeds to death.

Cue controversy, summarized by The Daily Beast:

How sweet of Theron to say, and how thoroughly misguided and offensive as well. Davis was honestly confronting a number of painful and complicated issues faced by many women of color in Hollywood today…

 

A few things to observe about this conversation.

1. The power dynamic in the room shifts decidedly to Davis: she’s the last word on the subject.  “Well, she’s black.”  Yes, but if the question is why does white Hollywood not value black actors, then white Hollywood should have the answers.  Yet it falls to Davis to “explain” it.  Note this carefully: criticism from below is permitted because it is powerless.  Criticism from above– “why are we doing this?” is psychologically impossible; it always gets deferred to the “why do they who do this, do this?” The individuals aren’t discussing the issue of race, they are trying desperately to avoid it.

2.

How sweet of Theron to say, and how thoroughly misguided and offensive as well.”  False.

She didn’t say it for Davis’s benefit.  Theron has the weakest psyche in the group, so it makes sense that she is the one to interrupt to tell Davis she is hot.  She cannot stand the anxiety of the conversation, so she throws the Cognitive Kill Switch: derail the conversation away from the uncomfortable, and make it about the individual’s identity.  In this case it is in support of Viola’s identity, but that’s irrelevant, what matters is that it is no longer about the uncomfortable topic.

3.  Why is this on The Daily Beast?  See #1 above.  The point is to make Theron the focus, feature her as an idiot to distract from the question.  Theron becomes the example of this racial ignorance, a privileged white woman who could never understand what it’s like– talk about her.  But Theron isn’t the one casting movies or deciding public interest.

If Davis had voiced her complaint and Theron said nothing, then this clip wouldn’t exist because there’d be no point in airing it.

4.  Oddly, in a discussion of hotness, it never occurs to anyone to dare to say this:  “There is an entire group of men who would much rather have sex with Viola Davis than Charlize Theron.”  Why doesn’t this even occur to Viola to say?

Because those men don’t count– including to Viola Davis.  She has been convinced that her worth depends on another audience.   “But that’s where the money is, movies that most people go to see.”  Yet most people aren’t seeing The Help, most people are seeing Ironman, but she isn’t trying to get a part in that.  She wants parts that appeal specifically to middle aged white women.  Think about this.

5.  I hope it is understood that The Oscars are a con game.  The Academy isn’t peer review, it is the Republican National Committee.  Backroom deals, money, meet-and-greets.

Actors know this, but must act as if the Oscars are legitimate.  They buy into the Ponzi scheme because their industry agrees to accept the Oscars as meaningful, and so they are.  So Davis wants an Oscar, I get it.  But when she complains  that White Hollywood doesn’t have “good roles” for blacks, she means Oscar worthy roles; this perpetuates the construction that the Oscars signify value.

This is another reason why this clip is present in the Oscar Roundtable.  They’re willing to be thought of as racists, as long as you accept they are racists whose judgement matters.

6.  Awards and box office aside, one mark of a truly good movie would be its ability to give a universal truth.  The question is: in what way can a black actor be used to convey a universal truth?

 

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15 Responses to Viola Davis Is Hotter Than Charlize Theron

  1. Hypocrisy Illustrated says:

    I don’t get it.

    Charlize Theron is an African who became a naturalzed American citizen.

    So she’s the only real African-America, in that discussion?

    BTW, the clip didn’t induce bowel distress. I’m feeling it more in my stomach.

  2. antoinebugleboy says:

    “the Cognitive Kill Switch: derail the conversation away from the uncomfortable, and make it about the individual’s identity”

    What’s that about Charlize Theron being “African American” again?

  3. GT says:

    Yeah but where’s Part II of the Cognitive Kill Switch (what to do if you are on the wrong end of “inappropriate”) post?????

  4. HP says:

    Charlize Theron is from South Africa, which makes her far more African than Viola Davis.

    And if you want to make a movie that conveys a universal truth, then it shouldn’t matter what color the actor is – just whether he/she can fit the required role. If you need a white person/cast to convey said universal truth, it’s time to start questioning just how universal it is.

    • Guy Fox says:

      If you’re looking at her passport for clues as to her social role, you’d probably also check her driver’s license for indications of her maturity. To the extent that Charlize Theron is ‘African’, the adjective doesn’t mean much other than strict geographical attribution. She can be more African, as she’s awkwardly displaying here on Morgan’s freak show, but she’s a different person in the video above (just like you’re different when you’re cuffed to the bedposts compared to visiting granny and complimenting the scones).

      The interesting difference is that the conversation started about Davis and her experiences, but that conversation implies that Theron is a victimizer, and her Afrikaans heritage is probably relevant (to her – not necessarily to anyone else at that table) beyond her status as multi-purpose Hollywood hot chick. So the rest of them, on Theron’s cue, warp the discussion to be about how they are all victims because none of them could pass for 35 year old college pledges anymore, i.e. the Eva Longoria gig five years ago and Ashton Kutcher’s now. It’s not that they’re all willing and well-paid cogs in an exploitative machine; they spin it so that they become that machine’s refuse. Poor Swinton! Poor Clooney! They’re surrounded by shallow, money-grubbing producers in an environment where they can think “Everyone in this business is swine – but me, the Artiste.”

      Davis jumps on that narrative. She’d much rather be the luminescent artistic talent shunned for being too Real, too True than for being an aging black woman who won’t be featured in Maxim/GQ any time soon – at least not covering her nipples with her fingertips.

      To quote the Redskins, “You’ve never had it so good: the favourite phrase of those who’ve always had it better.” is the narrative middle-aged white Hollywood offers Davis, and she laps it up, because it’s a lot more congenial in that situation than the/a True Story.

      • HP says:

        I didn’t mean she’s more Black (because that’s what people actually mean by the phrase, regardless of what they say/the fact that there’s white people in Africa). I was just explaining an earlier comment.

        Of course, on top of that all is the simple fact that “Black” itself is an identity independent of actual racial heritage/skin tone.

  5. thestage says:

    the comments right here are worse than whatever might be in that video, I’m almost certain of it.

  6. HP says:

    And yet you have nothing to offer. Not even “nothing of substance” or “nothing of value”, just nothing – no thought whatsoever on what was presented, or even semi-rational response to comments, just that they’re “worse” than a video you didn’t watch.

  7. Nachlasse says:

    Yet, look at Clooney. Why did he break out into a rant, and especially about how producers “dumb it down” for all their shows? I mean, isn’t it already a given that every show tries to gain a wider accessible audience? It’s common knowledge that is way past its prime and especially so for all these actors. So why bring it up now?

    I believe George (can I call him George?) is subconsciously trying to hold and steer the conversation back to the realm of the actors. The realm where they are all comfortable again and it helps that this rant is something all the actors have felt in common. George’s choice of speech was then a reaction to the even further anxiety caused by Theron.

    Michael Fassbender’s question perhaps served the same kind of purpose by trying to lure the conversation where everybody could nod their head to what Viola had to say, as long as it’s something everyone’s comfortable talking about.

    • Medusa says:

      Not to mention how Clooney totally interrupted Fassbender because what he had to say was soooo much more important. He wasn’t even listening to Fassbender, he was just waiting for a moment to hear himself talk.

      And he keeps bringing the conversation back to sex, because that’s what he really cares about. He’s lying. Of course the actress he wanted to work worth would be someone he’d want to fuck, and of course that is why he wanted to work with her, even if he doesn’t plan to actually fuck her. But then he placed all the blame onto the studio head? It’s like he doesn’t realize that he is that white man, he is the targeting demographic, and he is what they use to target that demographic. You can’t make a Clooney movie without a female that people would want to fuck.

      Serious cognitive dissonance.

  8. alexeyconrad says:

    Viola Davis is not hot. You’re own analysis tarnishes an individual’s perception of the video just as much as the video creates one. You’re also part of the problem. You’re narrative gets in the way as well, but more insidiously, by disguising itself as deconstruction or a clearer truth.

    Viola Davis is the woman men who couldnt fuck Charlize Theron would fuck.

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