Viola Davis: 'Social media and escapism movies are destroying our art form'

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Viola Davis took aim at social media during a talk she gave with her husband Julius Tennon during the Produced By Conference at the weekend.

The Fences actress, who runs JuVee Productions with Julius, attended the 13th annual conference put on by the Producers Guild of America, speaking about what producers should consider before green-lighting projects.

Referencing the biggest influences in film and TV today, Viola said: “Social media has taken over the defining of this art form.”

ET Canada reports that one of the ways in which social media has defined new Hollywood projects, she said, is an increased emphasis on escapism.

“I think that the word ‘escapism’ is something that is interesting - the goal all of us have is to sit in a movie with the popcorn and Sour Patch Kids and forget about our lives - but, literally, it destroys our art form," she expressed.

Explaining that not all escapist elements are evil, the actress continued: “Every time you’re in a room selling a narrative, it’s about how much you can create a story that allows us to escape.

“The characters then become a Mr. Potato Head, become Bobble Heads. We forget who these people are really until a movie comes along and blows our mind.”

During the event, she also gave advice to aspiring producers.

“I would be bolder,” she said. “I have to say, especially as a Black person, there’s so many things that are taboo… You don’t know until you try.”

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