We, the undersigned, are opposed to the idea of R&B singer/actress Beyonce Knowles playing the role of Angela Davis in any biographical film portraying Dr. Davis’ life. On February 5 2009, the online version of Hollywood Reporter (an esteemed print publication that follows the film business) quoted French/Angolan producer/director Rachid Bouchareb as considering Beyonce Knowles for the lead role in his planned Angela Davis biographical film. We believe this is a mistake that Rachid Bouchareb must reconsider and avoid. Dr. Davis is an iconic figure in the struggle for equality for all and against the forces of oppression that would exploit divisiveness for profit and control. We would like a serious actress with significant training in the art of acting to portray this powerful role and we feel Beyonce lacks the gravitas to successfully portray Dr. Davis. Further, we feel the music of Ms. Knowles is in large part not in line with the feminist tradition of Dr. Davis’ life and work (with due acknowledgement of elements of Ms. Knowles’ work that arguably attempt to empower women and challenge patriarchy, where some may debate that such themes are present).
Of equal importance, we feel there are many talented but “undiscovered” black actresses who would do a wonderful job in this role who deserve an opportunity to showcase their talent in such a historic film, should we all be blessed to see this story brought to the screen.
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I found out about this petition from the Invisible Woman.