Bryce Dallas Howard shares movie and TV show suggestions for people to watch instead of The Help

Susannah Alexander

From Digital Spy

The Help star Bryce Dallas Howard has advised people not to watch the film if they are trying to educate themselves on racial injustice and offered up a list of alternatives that could be watched instead.

Starring Howard, Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, The Help focuses on an aspiring journalist, a young white woman named Skeeter, as she decides to write a book about the experiences of the Black maids in her town and expose the racism and prejudice they are faced with as they work for white families.

The 2011 film, which is based on the novel of the same name by Tate Taylor, recently became one of the most-watched films on Netflix in the wake of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations being held around the world.


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But in a recent Instagram post Bryce Dallas Howard, who played white socialite Hilly in the film, stressed that The Help is "a fictional story told through the perspective of a white character", and shared a number of other titles that would be more informative for anyone looking to educate themselves on Black history and experiences.

"I've heard that #TheHelp is the most viewed film on @netflix right now! I'm so grateful for the exquisite friendships that came from that film – our bond is something I treasure deeply and will last a lifetime," she wrote.

"This being said, The Help is a fictional story told through the perspective of a white character and was created by predominantly white storytellers. We can all go further."


"Stories are a gateway to radical empathy and the greatest ones are catalysts for action," she continued.

"If you are seeking ways to learn about the Civil Rights Movement, lynchings, segregation, Jim Crow, and all the ways in which those have an impact on us today, here are a handful of powerful, essential, masterful films and shows that center Black lives, stories, creators, and / or performers."

She went on to recommend a number of films and shows including Ava DuVernay's 2016 documentary 13th – which Netflix has recently made available to non-subscribers for free – and DuVernay's 2019 Netflix miniseries When They See Us, which tells the story of five black and Latino teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of the rape of a white female jogger in New York in the late 1980s.

The list also features films including 2019 legal drama Just Mercy, which is based on the true story of Walter McMillian as he appealed his murder conviction with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, as well as 2014 historical drama Selma.

The actress added that the list was not "comprehensive" and invited her followers to add to the list with their own choices in the comments.

Digital Spy has also created a list of 14 films and documentaries to watch if you want to learn more about the history of Black oppression, either to understand the historical context better or to be a better ally.

For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.

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