Amid anti-racism protests calling on justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and a number of African American citizens in the country who lost their lives at the hands of the police, EW reports The Help has seen a resurgence in Netflix viewers. On Thursday, the 2011 film became the most-watched movie on Netflix. However, given the film is written and directed by a white man, based on a book by a white woman, and features a white woman's quest to document the experience of black maids, some have pointed out that the movie is not the best for viewers seeking a greater understanding of issues plaguing the Black community.
Not only have many users online criticized The Help and the fact that it has seen such a resurgence but Viola Davis, who starred in the film and garnered an Academy Award nomination for her work on it, previously spoke out against the movie in 2018. At the time, she told the New York Times that she regretted her role in the film, explaining, "It wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard. I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom. And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie."
Given the valid criticisms of the film from both the stars and viewers alike, it's no surprise to see that there has been a bit of backlash to the fact that The Help has gained in popularity during such a crucial time in the country right now. In fact, on Twitter, there were plenty of users who expressed their own, unfiltered opinions over The Help's newfound popularity.
Urging Netflix To Remove It
I worked at a movie theatre in Chicago when The Help came out and I was talking to a Black co-worker when two old white women interrupted us to tell him, "That movie was so good for you people." Just take it off @netflix. https://t.co/ioAlZrbAN7— Jamie Jirak (@JamieCinematics) June 5, 2020
Would be better if it was a movie that didn't have the white saviour narrative, but at least it's a start....— christine druid (@ChristineDruid) June 5, 2020
I...ummm wypipo...WTEF? Ya'll never seem to disappoint pic.twitter.com/K4mtf0xXX8— Bourgeois Essence Hall #Khive (@fu_yaya) June 5, 2020
Wow this sucks! The 13th is right there? Central Park 5? Doing Time?— Listen to @onbeliefpod & @ongriefpodcast Li'l 🌳 (@karengeier) June 5, 2020
Watch Something Else
Ugh--if you're gonna watch a film about racism, don't watch this white savior nostalgia BS. Watch "Us" instead. Racism is ugly and current, not some unfortunate quaint habit of an earlier era.— This Charming Man (@QueerHope) June 6, 2020
Movies like "The Help" are a part of the problem... just throw all of that garbage away and start over... pic.twitter.com/RWRa9jbFtR— RealHipHopNews (@RealHipHopNews) June 6, 2020
What You Should Watch
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In a time when many are turning to films and documentaries to become better informed and empowered, we want to help amplify Black voices in the media, touching on the truth of struggle and oppression faced daily. The Black Film Allegiance has shared a curated collection to elevate Black stories, artists and filmmakers with the intent to spark discussion. These films are available to view on various platforms, with a number of them also free, including Ava DuVernay's documentary, 13th on YouTube and Selma on all digital platforms.
Happy to share: Paramount Pictures is offering SELMA for free rental on all US digital platforms for June, starting today. We’ve gotta understand where we’ve been to strategize where we’re going. History helps us create the blueprint. Onward. @SelmaMovie. https://t.co/mxhGpfQeIP— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 5, 2020