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Fans aren't happy about Viola Davis' performance as Michelle Obama in new series

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Viola Davis has divided fans over her portrayal of Michelle Obama in new series The First Lady, and some viewers aren't happy.

The US Showtime series follows three First Ladies throughout history, starring Davis as Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt. The show premiered on the network on 17th April, also available to stream online - and fans have been sharing their torn reactions to Davis' performance.

While Davis looks pretty uncanny as Obama, much of the criticism over her acting in the role has centered around what viewers are deeming her exaggerated facial expressions and makeup.

Reacting to The First Lady online, one viewer tweeted, "I am a huge Viola Davis fan. She’s a phenomenal actress. However, it deeply saddened me the way she portrayed Michelle Obama. The extreme lip pouting was over exaggerated in every scene. The eyebrows/makeup was awful. Such a sad portrayal of a great lady," alongside a GIF of Michelle.

Another wrote, "Viola Davis is a Queen and her talent is phenomenal. However her portrayal of Michelle Obama is a miss. The exaggerated mannerisms distract from the performance and come across as caricature."

Others found the situation slightly more cringe, with one tweeting, "I really do love Viola Davis. BUT her portrayal of FLOTUS Michelle Obama is sending meeeeee."

Meanwhile, some viewers were thoroughly impressed by Davis' performance as Obama. One fan tweeted, "VIOLA DAVIS AS MICHELLE OBAMA, I'M FREAKING OUT." Another suggested that the backlash aimed at Davis has been unwarranted, writing, "I see the criticism Viola Davis [is] getting and I'm confused."

A third went on to praise the whole series, adding, "Were we all watching the same show? I already love this series. #TheFirstLady. Viola Davis has the Michelle Obama mannerisms down pat. I love the attention to detail. Gillian Anderson & Michelle Pfeiffer also did an excellent job."

The First Lady is streaming on Showtime and Hulu.


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