She’s one of the most celebrated actors in entertainment but not everyone was on board with Viola Davis’s portrayal of Michelle Obama. The award-winning actress stars in Showtime’s The First Lady, and while her talents are undeniable, it was Davis’s interpretation of Michelle’s “duck face” that gave audiences pause.

A social media user shared a brief clip of Davis in The First Lady and soon, tens of thousands of reactions were gathered across several platforms. People cracked jokes and new memes were birthed, and after the dust settled, Davis spoke with BBC News about the criticisms she received. 

According to the publication, Davis said that it is “incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work.” She recognized that criticisms are an “occupational hazard” of the business that she is in, so she takes it with a grain of salt. 

“How do you move on from the hurt, from failure? But you have to. Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance,” said Davis. “Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I’m not saying that to be nasty either.”

“They always feel like they’re telling you something that you don’t know. Somehow that you’re living a life that you’re surrounded by people who lie to you and ‘I’m going to be the person that leans in and tells you the truth.’ So, it gives them an opportunity to be cruel to you. But ultimately I feel like it is my job as a leader to make bold choices. Win or fail it is my duty to do that.”

Check out the trailer for The First Lady below. 


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