Viola Davis, rightfully, didn’t take kindly to being called “less classically beautiful than [Kerry] Washington” by New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley. During an appearance on The View before the premiere of How To Get Away With Murder yesterday, Davis addressed the slight, calling it an attempt to “erase” a person.
“Being a dark-skinned Black woman, you heard it from the womb,” said Davis. “And ‘classically not beautiful’ is a fancy term for saying ugly. And denouncing you. And erasing you.”
Davis went on to share how she’d never imagined she’d play a role as sexy as her Professor Annalise Keating on How To Get Away With Murder. “I’m glad that Shonda Rhimes saw me and said ‘Why not?’ That’s what makes her a visionary. That’s what makes her iconic. I think that beauty is subjective,” said Davis to co-hosts Rosie Perez and Whoopi Goldberg.
Watch the rest of Davis brilliant response to the paper’s review above, and see how other Black women responded with the #LessClassicallyBeautiful hashtag.