Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel famously said she would rather get paid $700 a week for playing a maid than $7 for being one, after civil rights groups criticized the portrayal of black characters in Gone With The Wind. Seventy years later, The Help and Viola Davis are enmeshed in a similar controversy.
The first African-American actress to win an Academy Award (for her role as Mammy in Gone With The Wind) is, alas, no longer with us — but if she were, today would be her 116th birthday. Raise a glass — or perhaps some kind of spiked popsicle, since it's so damn hot — in her honor tonight.
- Sandra Bullock's post-Oscar plans: