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Viola Davis Addresses "Hurtful" Criticism of Her Michelle Obama Portrayal

Apr 26, 2022

Viola Davis is addressing the critiques over her portrayal of former First Lady Michelle Obama in Showtime’s “The First Lady.” Since the series premiere on April 17, viewers have criticized Davis’s depiction, claiming the actor exaggerates some of Mrs. Obama’s mannerisms — specifically her pursed lips and facial expressions.

In an interview with BBC News, Davis responded to the recent criticism and said it’s “incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work,” though she acknowledged criticism is an “occupational hazard” of acting.

Davis added: “Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance . . . Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I’m not saying that to be nasty either.” It’s unclear what critics Davis refers to in the interview, but many of her “The First Lady” critiques stem from social media users. Davis also explained her experience with critics and how she continues to approach her acting roles, regardless of negative feedback.

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