Octavia Spencer Cautions Against Scrubbing History, Ponders ‘The Help’ in Today’s World.
Famous actress Octavia Spencer recently chatted about her popular movie “The Help” and wondered if a movie like it could be made now. She was on a podcast called “Table for Two” with Bruce Bozzi, and she talked about how people’s attitudes towards history have changed a lot in the last twelve years.
Spencer said that when we ignore or forget parts of history in our stories and art, we run the risk of making the same mistakes again. While she’s busy promoting her show “Truth be Told” on Apple TV+, she took a moment to talk about “The Help” and how it shows the real-life struggles and successes of people who never got the recognition they deserved.
On the podcast, Spencer said, “I think what’s happening in society right now is very, very dangerous because, you know, we are scrubbing the history books. And if we can’t point to our historical references, and we can’t point to things like that in art, in history, we’re repeating history now, because we’ve been stripping those truths away.”
She’s not sure if a movie like “The Help” could be made today, but she thinks it should be. “Should ‘The Help’ be made today? Absolutely. It represents real people who made real contributions to society who were never rewarded for those contributions,” she explained.
This brings up something her co-star from “The Help”, Viola Davis, said a while back. In 2018, Davis said she wished she hadn’t taken her role in the movie. She felt that the movie didn’t really show what it was like for the maids, and it was more focused on making the white audience happy. Davis said the movie didn’t really show how the Black maids truly felt about working for white people in the 1960s.
All this talk brings up important issues about how we tell stories, how we show history, and how we represent different people’s experiences. As Spencer and Davis point out, it’s really important to tell stories like “The Help”, but we have to make sure we’re being truthful and fair to the people whose stories we’re telling.