*We adore Viola Davis. Not only because she is one of those rare finds in an actress; one that’s not afraid to cry the ugly cry in her roles; she’s a fearless and gracious woman in real time — one who speaks powerful words on all ears willing to listen.
Davis has weighed in on the mounds of sexual assault cases currently in the news and told Yahoo Lifestyle she’s “tired of pretending that sexual assault in Hollywood is news.”
We have to create an environment where shame doesn’t exist.–Viola Davis
Davis spoke candidly with Yahoo Lifestyle at a recent brand launch for which she is an ambassador. She said that she’s “done” pretending that sexual assault in Hollywood is “news.”
But the Harvey Weinstein scandal is not the first time that the actress has spoken out about sexual abuse and assault. In 2016, while appearing at a Stuart House fundraiser event (scroll down for video), she gave a haunting account about her sister’s rape experience.
“I have a sister who, when she was 8-years-old, put on some roller skates with her friend, went down to the corner store at one o’clock in the afternoon, went into the store and was sexually assaulted in the store. She came home and she told my mom. My mom ran down to the store, started screaming at the owners and he said, ‘leave that man alone, he does that to all the little girls.’
Davis goes on to tell how her sister, forever traumatized by the incident, grew up as a result: as a frail woman who was a drug addict by the time she was 20.
In speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle the actress and activist revisited the subject of rape…
“I’m sorry, sexual assault has affected women since the beginning of time. It just has. We know that. We sit with our girlfriends, we talk, we get something to drink, and everyone shares their story. Most women in my life, almost all of them, have been sexually assaulted. That’s just truth. I’m not saying anything that’s news. So I’m done with it! I really am. I’m done pretending. Done looking at all these women who lead their lives with body dysmorphic issues, suicide, depression, drug addiction, and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, what’s wrong with them? What’s wrong with them?’ And it’s rooted in that silence of sexual assault and rape.”
In Variety, the How to Get Away With Murder star penned this statement:
“To the predators.. Weinstein, the stranger, the relative, the boyfriend…. I say to you, ‘You can choose your sin but you don’t get to choose the consequences.’ To the victims…. I see you. I believe you… and I’m listening.”
Watch the Yahoo Lifestyle interview here.
Listen to Davis’ speech about her sister’s rape and the subsequent effects it had on her directly below.