Bryce Dallas Howard has a new perspective on one of her past projects.
Earlier this month, the actress, 39, took to Instagram to encourage her followers to watch films made by black filmmakers including “Selma” and “Just Mercy.”
In the caption of the post, she thanked her fans for the support that her 2011 film “The Help” has received since it hit Netflix.
“This being said, ‘The Help’ is a fictional story told through the perspective of a white character and was created by predominantly white storytellers,” she said. “We can all go further.”
“The Help” was written and directed by Tate Taylor — a white man — and follows a young white woman who works to write a book of stories from black maids employed by white families. The book the movie was based on was written by Kathryn Stockett, also a white woman.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Howard was asked whether she’d agree to star in “The Help” if it were being made today.
“No. But what I will say is: What I’ve seen is that folks have the courage to say that. ‘With all due respect, I love this project, I do not think you could be the filmmaker,” she admitted. “That’s a really powerful thing to say. That’s an important stance to take in order to make room for the true authentic storytellers.”
As for why she encouraged fans to turn away from her own flick, Howard said she did so simply because she felt it was important to share her thoughts.
“In this transformation that’s happening, there’s a new freedom of expression. I’m seeing from others — and feeling from myself — that it is less about worrying about offending people and looking within and saying, ‘Why? What really am I scared of, and what is that reinforcing?'” said the actress. “And so I posted it and didn’t look back.”
Viola Davis, who also starred in the film, has also expressed dissatisfaction with the voices highlighted in the film.
“I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard. I know [my character] Aibileen. I know [Octavia Spencer’s character] Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom,” Davis, 54, previously told The New York Times. “And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie.”