Hattie McDaniel & Octavia Spencer Oscar Speeches Seventy Two Years Apart For Their Mammy Performances In Films.
Has Hollywood really become more progressive and changed for the better for black women? The white liberals in Hollywood and the white media claim this is true. My question is, what message did the Academy send by giving Octavia Spencer an Oscar for playing a mammy in The Help?
Is Octavia Spencer’s Oscar victory really progress? In 1940, Hattie McDaniel won the best supporting actress Oscar for playing mammy in the racist film Gone with the wind.
In Gone with the wind Hattie McDaniel’s character mammy was overweight, a loudmouth, fiery, and aggressive.
I cringe when I hear Hattie say “I am a credit to my race” in the speech because she didn’t write it. The racist Academy wrote Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar speech.
The NAACP and other black civil rights groups criticized Hattie McDaniel for consistently accepting the mammy roles in Hollywood films.
McDaniel was not allowed to sit with her white co-stars during the Oscar ceremony she had to sit at the back. McDaniel was also barred from the premiere of Gone with the wind. I can understand McDaniel winning the Oscar because the year 1940 America was still a hostile place for black people. The civil rights movement did not start until the 1950s. McDaniel didn’t have a choice in 1939 she either worked as a maid in films or she would be unemployed.
Seventy two years after Hattie McDaniel won another black woman Octavia Spencer won an Oscar for her role as mammy in the racist film The Help. Spencer’s character Minny is the black sapphire she is hot-tempered, angry, overweight, and of course a maid.
The Academy claims to be progressive yet gives black females continue to win Oscars for racist and sexist stereotypical roles.
When will a black woman win an Oscar for a dignified role when she isn’t wearing a maid’s uniform?
I am sure Spencer is thrilled she won an Oscar but again at what cost? Does Octavia Spencer really believe her career is going to magically improve because of The Help?
Former black Oscar winners such as Cuba Gooding Jr., Halle Berry, MoNique, Jamie Foxx, careers have fallen off since they won the Oscar.
If a black woman is full-figured, dark-skinned, and not light-skinned with a model figure like Halle Berry she probably will not obtain respectable film roles.
The black maid is a palatable image that white Hollywood loves black women to conform to.
For people who don’t know the racist stereotype of the mammy emerged during slavery. Mammy worked for the white master in the house and mammy was also raped by the white man as well. Mammy was loving, asexual, selfless and devoted to white people.