Viola Davis has a message of support for LGBT families.
“I’m fighting for you,” she said at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Custody, a movie about a mother’s struggle to keep legal guardianship of her child.
On the red carpet, The Advocate asked Davis, who plays a judge weighing the custody decision, if she had a message for LGBT people who are also fighting to keep their children in the face of legal obstacles.
“I believe in you,” she continued. “I think that I’m just as outraged as you are. I think you’re worthy of every right that every human being in this country, in this world, has been afforded.”
Speaking about the script by James Lapine (Into The Woods), who also directed the movie, the How to Get Away With Murder star addressed how essential it is to have diverse representation in storylines, in order to move the needle for social change.
“I’m a woman of color. I’m a woman,” she said. “There’s so many people who are disenfranchised, who are put in a classical narrative and then just as a device, a stereotype, and it becomes a reflection of our mindset of how we don’t want to explore them as human beings. James didn’t do that. Every life is explored. So by the time you finish this story, you see the full scope of this issue of this woman literally losing her child, and it’s impossible for you to make a judgment.”
The film also stars Catalina Sandino Moreno (A Most Violent Year) as the mother and Hayden Panettiere (Nashville) as her lawyer.
“Keep fighting,” Sandino Morena also encouraged LGBT people on the Custody carpet. “Family is the one thing that will never turn their back on you. It’s completely worth it.”
Last year, Davis won an Emmy for her role as attorney Annalise Keating in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder. During her acceptance speech, she also addressed the importance of creating roles for women and people of color.
“You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there,” she stated.