There were some incredible moments Sunday evening at the Academy Awards but one of the biggest disappointments—at least in our opinion—was Viola Davis not winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in Doubt. Davis plays the mother of the first black student at a Bronx parochial school. Scandal develops after a new priest (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) develops a "special relationship" with the boy. Davis is seen only during one extended scene but her performance is a tour de force.
In the new issue of Windy City Times, the Chicago-based LGBT newsweekly, there is an extensive interview with the actress. Davis speaks out on race and sexuality, and, her comments complement the recent discussion at Rod 2.0 on the difference between "pedophiles" and "gay" men.
WCT: The film allows for many implications about sexuality and misconduct. Gay men have been demonized by society as child molesters. The difference between child molesters and gay men seems to have blurred within the church and in society. What are your thoughts on this issue?
DAVIS: First of all, in my life I know that is not the case. I have to say that when I first came to the big city I heard all kinds of ideas that were so strange to me. My experience with pedophiles in my past … they haven't been gay, and it's just like all people who are miserable weren't married; some where just living with each other. I reject that as a person. Homosexuals are demonized; I saw a lot of demonic people in my life of all colors across the spectrum. ... My character is absolutely in the mindset of... I can't reveal that to you because it's a spoiler, but I think my character is of that mindset, also. I don't think she has demonized this man [ Father Flynn ] also. I think she sees him as probably gay, but that's just who he is.
WCT: In the powerful exchange between your character and Sister Aloysius, Mrs. Miller refers to her son Donald as being “different.” I translated this to mean he is gay. Is he?
DAVIS: I can't reveal that to you or else I would have to kill you and you wouldn't leave the room. I'll tell you when [ points to the recorder ] it's off.
Viola Davis' remarks are brilliant. It's too bad the same questions were not asked by the specialty black media who interviewed the actress before the Oscars, because there needs to be much more education about sexuality and sexual abuse in the black church and black community. But it's wonderful the gay community has a strong new ally.
No "Doubt" About Davis [WCT]
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