photo credit: Jim Spellman / Getty Images
Have you heard of the “paper bag” test? Viola Davis says it’s still “very much alive and kicking.”
The triple crowned actress Viola Davis opens up about her experience with colorism in the entertainment industry. During an interview, Davis spoke candidly about lack of diversity in the Hollywood and lack of opportunity for Black actors and actresses.
As she’s addressing colorism, she suggest that darker-skinned women are often cast for roles such as drug addicts and prostitutes. “When you do see a woman of color on-screen, the paper-bag test is still very much alive and kicking. That’s the whole racial aspect of colorism: If you are darker than a paper bag, then you are not sexy, you are a woman, you shouldn’t be in the realm of anything that men should desire” she said.
Davis also speaks on her character in How to Get Away With Murder, Annalise Keating. “In the history of television and even in film, I’ve never seen a character like Annalise Keating played by someone who looks like me,” she said. “My age, my hue, my sex. She is a woman who absolutely culminates the full spectrum of humanity — our askew sexuality, our askew maternal instincts. She’s all of that, and she’s a dark-skinned Black woman.”
Watch the full interview here.