Viola Davis Has Something To Say To Critics Who Blasted Her Portrayal Of Michelle Obama

No one would argue that Viola Davis, who is the most Oscar-nominated Black actress in history according to IndieWire, is immensely talented. And yet, the star immediately experienced backlash over her portrayal of Michelle Obama in the Showtime series "The First Lady."

The criticism largely centered around Davis' seemingly over-exaggerated lip pursing. Many viewers took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the actress in the role of the iconic figure, with one person summing up the sentiments of many by tweeting, "I love love love Viola Davis, I'm just not loving her as Michelle Obama." Less kind Twitter users called her performance "horrible" and "embarrassing."

Now, Davis is responding to the condemnation of her turn as Obama in a new interview with BBC News. And perhaps her comments serve as a good reminder that behind the internet trolls' victims, no matter how famous, are human beings. The star admitted that it's "incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work." But she also wants fans and critics alike to know that she kind of doesn't care.

Viola Davis makes a controversial claim about the role of critics

Viola Davis' portrayal of Michelle Obama on "The First Lady" has stolen much of the press surrounding the highly-anticipated Showtime series. For instance, The Hollywood Reporter didn't have many positive things to say about the show overall, and called the Oscar winner's use of facial expressions "distracting."

In a new interview, Davis admitted it's "incredibly hurtful" to read bad reviews. But wisely, the acclaimed star noted to the BBC, "Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance." She went on to opine, however, "Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I'm not saying that to be nasty either."

Davis added that from her point of view, critics feel like they are offering the truth — one that she wasn't already aware of. The star stopped short of admitting she too wasn't pleased with how she came across in the role of Obama. 

For their part, many fans were skeptical upon reading the actress' take on critics, with one person tweeting, "Without criticism to question or challenge you, how do you improve your skills? Obviously from Davis' performance self awareness/evaluation wasn't enough. She learned from the critics. It doesn't read well that she doesn't admit it."