Viola Davis: The Privilege Of A Lifetime Is Being Who You Are

She delivered a powerful speech at the Critics' Choice Awards Sunday.

Viola Davis is a winner yet again.

During Sunday night’s annual Critics’ Choice Awards, Davis became the first actress to receive the #SeeHer Award, which was created from the #SeeHer ANA campaign to eliminate bias against women in media and advertising. 

In accepting the inaugural award, the “Fences” star joked about why it’s hard to accept being a role model for women “when you’re trying to lose weight.”

“I’ve always discovered the heart of my characters by asking, ‘Why?’ You know, when I was handed Annalise Keating, I said, ‘She’s sexy, she’s mysterious.’ I’m used to playing women who gotta gain 40 pounds and wear an apron,” she said.

“So, I said, ‘Oh God, I gotta lose weight. I gotta learn to walk like Kerry Washington in heels. I gotta lose my belly.’ And then I asked myself, ‘Well, why do I have to do all that?’”

Davis added that she eventually embraced the belief that the “privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” She also shared why she was proud to accept the award. 

“At 10:00 every Thursday night ... you come into my world and you sit with me, my size, my hue, my age, and you sit and you experience,” she said. “And I think that’s the only power I have as an artist, so I thank you for this award and I do see her ― just like I see me.”

In addition to receiving the #SeeHer Award, Davis also took home the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Rose in “Fences.”



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