Rooting for ‘The Help’… with some caveats


The Help is nominated for 4 Academy Awards and has generated a great deal of Oscar buzz.
Prior to seeing the movie, I read ‘An Open Statement to the Fans of The Help’ on behalf of the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH). The statement provides historical context to address widespread stereotyping presented in both the film and novel version of The Help.
The statement says
“Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers. We are specifically concerned about the representations of black life and the lack of attention given to sexual harassment and civil rights activism.”

I certainly recognize those points to be valid.
Still, I truly enjoyed the movie. The African-American actresses were wonderful and talented, and the storyline was engaging.
So, I definitely recommend the movie, and I would love to see it win awards at the Oscars.
However, I do hope that viewers will be aware of these reservations about perpetuating stereotypes in popular films.
Full text of the ABWH statement can be found at:
http://www.abwh.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2:open-statement-the-help&catid=1:latest-news

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