Viola Davis on Comments About Her Role as Mrs. Obama: “Critics Absolutely Serve No Purpose”

Viola Davis stars as Michelle Obama in the new Showtime series The First Lady. Her work as Mrs. Obama has received criticism online, most notably for her facial expressions throughout the series.

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While speaking with BBC News in the promotion of her memoir, Finding Me, Davis stated it is “incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work.”

She added a moment in self-reflection in how you move on, citing “you have to.” Davis added, “Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance.”


But to those critics, Davis had a response: “Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I’m not saying that to be nasty, either.”

Davis would add more of her opinion on the social media messages about her portrayal of Mrs. Obama:

“They always feel like they’re telling you something that you don’t know. Somehow that you’re living a life that you’re surrounded by people who lie to you and ‘I’m going to be the person that leans in and tells you the truth,’ so it gives them an opportunity to be cruel to you. But ultimately I feel like it is my job as a leader to make bold choices. Win or fail it is my duty to do that.”