During Saturday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, Idris Elba, Uzo Aduba, Viola Davis and Queen Latifah took home top honors for their work, and many people tweeted sentiments similar to #SAGAwardsSoBlack, to counter the now infamous #OscarsSoWhite.
After Elba accepted his award, he made a point of speaking about diversity.
“Welcome to diverse TV,” Elba stated.
But during a backstage interview with Entertainment Tonight, Davis remarked about diversity and how it shouldn’t just be a trending topic.
“We have become a society of trending topics. Diversity is not a trending topic. It’s just not,” Davis stated. “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 could play Chekhov, any character in Chekhov and Shakespeare, in Arthur 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 color who I know don’t place any limitations on themselves, either,” she continued. “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.”
Davis also referred to the numerous people who have stated that they plan to boycott the upcoming Academy Awards.
“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,” Davis stated. Davis will not be in attendance this year because she will be on vacation.
Davis spoke about how people need to support movies that aren’t big-budget types.
“I think that sometimes people feel like stories about people of color are not inclusive,” she said. “They’re very much inclusive. I mean, the works of August Wilson, which really pretty much made my career, is everyone’s story. I mean, when you watch Annalise [on How to Get Away With Murder], she’s not just a black woman; she is a woman going through her life, you know?
“And I feel like people forget that in our business, we can’t act alone,” she continued. “You need the actor, you need the writer, you need the director and, finally, you need the audience. So I’m just saying, plop your money down to see Race, to see Dope, to see Straight Outta Compton, to see Selma; do support directors like Ava DuVernay, Lee Daniels, Spike Lee, that their stories are just as valid and as important as anyone else. That’s more important than boycotting, is openness.”