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Octavia Spencer On Criticism Of "The Help": "We've Gotten So PC..."

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 11, 2011 at 3:59AM

We've read Viola Davis' take on the project... some of it anyway. Go HERE if you missed that post. Today, we've got her co-star, Octavia Spencer, who plays one of the film's lead characters, the bold and cantankerous maid Minnie.
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We've read Viola Davis' take on the project... some of it anyway. Go HERE if you missed that post. Today, we've got her co-star, Octavia Spencer, who plays one of the film's lead characters, the bold and cantankerous maid Minnie.

The question asked by Rebecca Murray of About.com was: "There was some criticism about a white woman writing about African American characters, and then you’ve got a white man directing a movie about women of different races. What's your take on the issue?"

And Octavia Spencer's response: "We’ve gotten so PC and we’ve gotten so weirded out. We start labeling. You have to be a black person to write about black people. You have to be a white person… But when you think about the dialects - I love to read. I was an English major and I remember re-reading Wuthering Heights and their broken English dialects, and they are Caucasian people. And Huck Finn is written with a strong dialect from Louisiana – a Southern white boy. I love it - and either you love it or hate it. As a black woman, I grew up in Montgomery, Alabama and I had relatives who were much older in rural Alabama and a few of them had this dialect. A lot of them didn’t. But if she wrote every black character with the same exact voice, then there would be like a cause for concern, but she didn’t do that and I think that gives it authenticity. It made me feel that I was walking in someone else’s shoes... I have a problem with the fact that people are making that an issue. 'Oh, a white girl,' and then they read the book and they say, 'Oh, it's not Mamie.' I did it too. I was like, 'Oh, this is Mamie from Gone with the Wind."

Still working to get my opportunity, so that I can speak to these actresses, the writer and director myself. But since y'all have been so mean to them about the film, they may not grant me any access now :)

I'm kidding... I'm kidding...

This article is related to: Quote, Things That Make You Go Hmm..., Coming Soon


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