At the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, Viola Davis addressed the limited roles available for Black women over 50 in Hollywood and compared it to a “vast desert.” The Oscar-winning actress highlighted her concerns and expressed her dismay about the lack of interesting roles for women aged 50 and above. She was quoted as saying, “When it comes to Black women who are over 50, then that is when [the lack of interesting roles] is problematic. That’s when it is a vast desert.”
Viola Davis also mentioned that women in the industry are not waiting for their opportunities anymore and are taking initiative by creating their own chances. She expressed optimism and named several Black actresses as examples of women who are empowering themselves, including Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Kerry Washington, Issa Rae, Michaela Coel, Halle Berry, Keke Palmer, and Marsai Martin.
Recently, Viola Davis starred as Deloris Johnson, Michael Jordan’s mother, in the Nike drama, Air. The celebrated basketball player reportedly insisted on Davis playing the role for the movie to go ahead.
To conclude her talk, Viola Davis delivered empowering remarks, stating, “I don’t hustle anymore. Worth is nothing to be negotiated with. I was born worthy. That’s not on the table.”