Real Talk, Viola Davis’s Spontaneous Snot Bubble In Fences Should Have Won An Oscar Too » VSB

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Real Talk, Viola Davis’s Spontaneous Snot Bubble In Fences Should Have Won An Oscar Too

It’s been over a week since Viola Davis won her first Academy Award for her portrayal of “Rose” in Denzel Washington’s screen adaptation of August Wilson’s iconic and devastating Fences; bringing her one step closer to coveted EGOT statusWhich means it’s been over a week since the biggest travesty of awards season took place. And I’m not referring to Casey Affleck’s win over Denzel and his knife-twisting laud of Denzel when accepting the award, which was like a dude telling the chick with an unrequited crush on him she’d “make a great girl for someone,” and texting her this message from his new girlfriend’s phone.

No, the travesty was Viola Davis’s Best Supporting Actress win. Anyone who’s seen the movie or has any familiarity with the play know there’s nothing “supporting” at all about Rose’s role in Fences. She’s as important to the play as Troy is, is on screen just as much, and has just as many important lines and moments. She should have been nominated for (and won) Best Actress.

Also, Viola did not deserve to win Best Supporting. Because if she’s in her rightful place as Best Actress, the real Best Supporting Actress recognition should have been giving to the spontaneous snot bubble she produced while giving her landscape-shifting speech to Troy.

Seriously, this snot conjures the spirits of Marlon Brando, Orson Welles, and Harriet Tubman, puts them in a blender, and spills them on the screen. You will never see a finer performance, a more compelling gathering of phlegm, and a more heart-wrenching reason to hand someone a tissue and a tub of hand sanitizer. It’s BlackGirlMagic snot. The Lemonade of cinematic saliva.

Viola Davis will continue to win awards and will continue to be as consistently awesome and awe-inspiring as she’s always been. Which is why we need to remember that snot. We’ll never see anything like that again.


Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • BatmansExWife

    As a faithful HTGAWM fan, I’ve witnessed the snot bubbles and plenty occasions and I love it. And it’s real! I wonder if she has a lot of snot, waiting to come out for the magic moments.

    • miss t-lee

      She really can make it happen on cue. Serious talent.

      • esa

        after what you were sharing last week about her personal life, she has a well of trauma to draw upon—and she does it with such integrity. i so admire her for being able to create art out of suffering.

        • miss t-lee

          Indeed. Much respect.

  • SoonToBeMrs

    Ruby, get yo azz in hurr and learn to snot/phglem on cue. HHH will be more than moved mamacita.

  • Duncan Frame

    I’ve already forgotten/never knew/don’t need to know who best actress was…

    • Courtney Wheeler


  • MsCee

    Did yall read Damon’s latest on GQ…lawd, I died and came back at least 20 times.

    • Courtney Wheeler

      The one about “Get Out?”

      • MsCee


    • SoonToBeMrs

      He on GQ?! Like?.

      • MsCee

        Yes, he is a pretty regular contributor

        • SoonToBeMrs

          I thought like he was featured. Like a spread.

  • Lawd, I thought I was the only one who thought she shouldn’t have gotten the award for THAT performance. Fences is one of my fav August Wilson plays. Denzel should’ve won that best actor ALL DAY LONG. Hands down.

  • Mary Burrell

    In HTGAWM she takes off her wig and the ugly snot cry are brave choices to make as an actress immersing herself in her characters as Annalise and Rose. She’s a consummate actress she slays every time.

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      That snot bubble is part of her signature cry. She had it in Doubt too!

      • Mary Burrell


  • WenzelDashington

    Shout out to the jalapeño poppers that made that scene possible

  • Mary Burrell

    As an actress she has sense memory she has had a hard upbringing so there is lots of painful places to go to help her tell the story of her characters. She’s gifted as an actress and she takes us on her journey.

  • NonyaB?

    BTW y’all: Honolulu Slim n Shelly just confirmed they really ain’t coming back. I mean they’re back, but not for y’all.

    • Tam

      You blame them lol

      • NonyaB?

        Not an inch. Slim stunting like “yeah, I gave 8 years of dad jeans ’cause y’all wouldn’t have been able to take it otherwise. But outchea? Better respect my new fit”.

        • miss t-lee

          He was swaggy in his leather jacket.
          Get it Barry.

        • Mary Burrell

          lol ?

    • Mary Burrell

      They are giving zero dambs about Orange Orangatung and his shenanigans.


        That’s true. They reject the agenda of Trump, who is a habitual liar and con-artist.

    • Alessandro De Medici

      Even the bodyguard in the middle looks like he on vacation.

      • NonyaB?

        The fresh is rubbing off on him!

    • SoonToBeMrs

      He is looking delicious.

      • NonyaB?

        He’s on that “Barack left the building but Barry Fresh is outchea” steeze.

        • Mary Burrell

          Love it

    • Man they look so happy!

      Barry out here looking like somebodys somebody & Michelle (n o h o m o ) is out here looking thicker than a snicker in all black.

      I loves it!

      • Jennifer

        Shout out to the stylist who helped him with well-fitting jeans. Dad jeans are no more!

        • BrothasKeeper

          I was just gonna comment on that. Barry’s outfit is very fashionable, not too young, not too old. Michelle can rock a potato sack and still be fine.

          • Gibbous

            That jacket tho. Cool on so many layers. Brown, not black, over a beautifully pressed button up and T. I’m not a fashion maven and I don’t have the words, but it screams “casually cool without trying. “

            • Val

              I bet it cost at least 2 grand tho.

              • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                Real talk…I saw this downtown in NYC when I was home for the holidays I think. At least 2 Gs.

        • miss t-lee


        • mssporadic

          Probably Malia, She took him shopping when he visited her in NY.

      • I_AmU

        He’s phfiiine and she’s looking juicy. So over the moon happy for them!!

    • Roz

      They look sooooo happy!

    • Ess Tee
  • Ess Tee

    Nominations like Viola’s (for Best Supporting) always drive home how political the Oscars are. “Oh, well, the *ingenue* of 2016 will be a shoo-in for Best Actress so let’s nominate this person who we also want to win, but let’s do it for Supporting Actress.” Constant BS.

    • Mel

      I think the studio was gutless, they wanted her to win so put her in a category where it was a “lock”. Frankly I think if they had taken the chance and put her up against Emma Stone, she would have beat her. La La Land is Meh, as far as movies go, I’m glad I didn’t pay to see it.

      • Jennifer

        La La Land as a movie was better than Emma Stone as a Best Actress award winner. I still don’t understand how that was an award-worthy performance.

      • Ess Tee

        It wasn’t until early last month that I even learned what the premise of La La Land was. After all the raving I was like, I’d rather not. Then one of the podcasts I listen to did a show on it, and I was like, Wait.

        *insert questioning face emoji*

        • Mel

          I just question how you can cast two leads in a musical who can’t sing or dance very well. I love movie musicals and in my opinion if the dancing looks like something I could do after a few rehearsals, I am not impressed. As a singer also, I was not impressed with the vocals, I understand that everyone doesn’t have a Patti voice, but the director made them sing live, that only works when you have musical training and you can REALLY sing. Moving and singing is hard, and it showed. Ok, Petty Patty will stop now.

          • mssporadic

            The director didn’t want it to sound polished.

            Who would you cast otherwise? Anna Kendrick already did Pitch Perfect and a movie based on a musical (The Last Five Years). Emma Watson is in Beauty & The Beast. Kristen Bell did Frozen.

            I didn’t like this movie, but in hindsight, I don’t know who else could have done it.

            • Mel

              Hmm, I don’t want to pay to hear unpolished. Musical theater is FULL to the brim with people who can do both. I understand that he wanted “box office” but did you look forward to the next number? If you’re going to tackle the genre, do it right. La La Land is going to go down in a few years as one of those ” what were we raving about again” movies .

              • mssporadic

                I saw an interview with the director, and he had issues getting the movie greenlit. Emma and Ryan were probably brought on more for their celebrity status than their singing ability.

                I do think LLL is gonna fade into obscurity. I can’t imagine re-watching it.

            • pop_top

              Apparently Emma Watson was originally cast.

      • mssporadic

        Emma Stone was 2016’s Anne Hathaway. She was winning regardless. If they were going to give Best Movie to Moonlight, La La Land had to win big elsewhere. If people weren’t lauding Casey Affleck’s performance so much, they probably would have nominated and gave the award to Ryan Gosling.

      • cyanic

        The strategy to take the path of least resistance worked. Davis needed to sweep an awards season uncontested with all the eligible major televised precursors. She collected elusive prizes for her like the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and the Oscar.

    • cyanic

      The Academy Award for Best Actress is impenetrable for nonwhite actresses. For 89 years only one (Halle Berry) has broken the color barrier. The category is also ageist. Best Supporting Actress however is a free for all of inclusion and diversity. Winners and nominees. No restrictions.

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