Phylicia Rashad Defends Octavia Spencer's Role In 'The Shack'

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Rashad spoke out about controversy surrounding Spencer's role as God in the upcoming film and the Christian groups upset about the depiction.

Phylicia Rashad is coming to the defense of friend and Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer.

Spencer's upcoming film, The Shack, sees the actress playing God. The movie is based on the New York Times best-selling book and focuses on a grieving father seeking answers for his loss. 

Related: Haters Are Angry That Octavia Spencer Portrays God In An Upcoming Movie

Christian groups are heated over Spencer's portrayal for no other reason than that she's a Black woman. Joe Schimmel, the pastor of Blessed Hope Chapel, told one Christian outlet, "Young’s pretentious caricature of God as a heavy set, cushy, non-judgmental, African American woman called ‘Papa’ – who resembles the New Agey Oprah Winfrey far more than the one true God revealed through the Lord Jesus Christ in Hebrews 1:1-3 –…lends itself to a dangerous and false image of God and idolatry."

Related: Octavia Spencer And Kevin Costner On The State Of Diversity In Films

Rashad told Page Six, "Oh, please, God is in all of us. It does not matter what color you are or what gender you are, there is God in all of us."

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Aviv Alush, who plays Jesus in the film, added, "You do know that Jesus did not have blond hair and blue eyes. He had hair of wool and skin the color of brass."

About her role, Spencer told USA Today in 2015, "It's like 'Oh, my God! Someone is playing God.' But people have to remember it's a manifestation of God. How (the film subject) sees God. Not necessarily how or who or what God is."

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