Viola Davis' portrayal of Michelle Obama in First Lady ROASTED by fans

Viola Davis is slammed for ‘offensive’ and ‘insulting’ portrayal of Michelle Obama in new series The First Lady – as viewers accuse her of turning show into a ‘joke’ with ‘constant duck face’

  • Oscar-winning actress Viola, 56, starred as Former President Barack Obama’s wife in the first episode of the brand new 10-part anthology drama The First Lady
  • The show premiered on Showtime on April 17 and follows the lives of Michelle, 58, and other first ladies – including Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford
  • However, many people are mercilessly ridiculing The Help star for pursing her lips throughout much of the biopic
  • Some viewers found her constant use of the facial expression disrespectful to Michelle, with one viewer calling it ‘unnecessary and border-line insulting’
  • Another claimed the director ‘needed to serve time’ for ‘making’ Viola do the ‘duck face’ so much, while someone else said the show creators should be ‘fired’ 
  • Viola previously admitted she had ‘anxiety’ over playing Michelle, due to the high expectations that come with portraying a person beloved by so many

Viola Davis’ portrayal of Michelle Obama is being mercilessly ridiculed by fans – who called her ‘constant duck face’ in the new Showtime series an ‘insult’ to the former first lady.

Oscar-winning actress Viola, 56, starred as Former President Barack Obama’s wife, 58, in the first episode of the brand new 10-part anthology drama The First Lady – which premiered on April 17 and follows the lives of Michelle and other well-known first ladies.

However, many people are roasting The Help star for pursing her lips throughout much of the biopic, and some viewers found her constant use of the facial expression disrespectful to the former first lady.

Viola is now facing severe backlash for the role, which sparked a firestorm of responses from people on social media.

Although Michelle has been known to purse her lips, one viewer called Viola’s ‘exaggerated’ portrayal ‘unnecessary and border-line insulting.’ 

Viola Davis’ (pictured) portrayal of Michelle Obama is being mercilessly ridiculed by fans – who called her ‘constant duck face’ in the new Showtime series an ‘insult’ to the former first lady


Oscar-winning actress Viola (left), 56, starred as Former President Barack Obama’s wife (right), 58, in the first episode of the brand new 10-part anthology drama The First Lady

Many people are roasting Viola (pictured) for pursing her lips throughout the biopic, and some viewers found her constant use of the facial expression disrespectful to the former first lady

Another disgruntled social media user claimed that the director ‘needed to serve time’ for ‘making’ Viola do the ‘duck face’ so much in the show, while someone else said the people who worked on it should be ‘fired.’

‘The director that made Viola Davis do that duck face may need to serve time,’ wrote one person.

‘I love Viola Davis but the entire team of people behind all of this should get fired,’ said another.

‘Why didn’t anybody stop you? Why could they not even give you an actual make up artist? How will you ever face Michelle Obama after this?’ 

‘Viola Davis needs to be stopped,’ agreed another. ‘She’s over doing the Michelle Obama face.’

‘Viola Davis’ face must have been so tired in that movie,’ joked a different user.

Someone else said: ‘I’m embarrassed and legitimately surprised that everyone who saw Viola Davis make that face let it stand. Including Viola Davis! Like… Why?’

‘Viola Davis is one of the best actresses to ever hit the scene but that damn Michelle Obama biopic is a comedy simply because of that face she be making,’ read another tweet.

‘If Viola Davis is making that face the whole movie, idk if I’m gonna be able to hold it together,’ one user admitted.

‘I feel like, they could’ve just found someone who looks more like Michelle rather than have Viola Davis contort her face like this,’ read another message.

‘#TheFirstLady is good so far. But I don’t understand what Viola Davis is doing. Her acting choices are so distracting,’ shared someone else. ‘She could be great in that part if she just relaxed her face.’

‘Viola Davis was definitely the right choice for the Michelle biopic but they making her do that face Michelle does too often. That makes it seem like a whole joke film…’ wrote one user.

‘So Viola Davis is gonna do that “something smells funny” face as Michelle Obama through the whole movie?’ asked another.

A different person said, ‘If I were Michelle Obama I’d be offended by Viola Davis. At the very least I’d think her lips thing was unnecessary and boarder line insulting.’ 

The 10-part series is also set to focus on Betty Ford (who will be played by Michelle Pfeiffer) and Eleanor Roosevelt (who will be played by Gillian Anderson). 

Before the show came out, Viola – who also produced the series – admitted that she had ‘anxiety’ and ‘stress’ over playing Michelle, due to the high expectations that come with portraying a person beloved by so many.


Although Michelle (right) has been known to purse her lips, one viewer called Viola’s (left) ‘exaggerated’ portrayal ‘unnecessary and border-line insulting’


Another social media user claimed the director ‘needed to serve time’ for ‘making’ Viola do the ‘duck face’ so much. Viola is pictured in the show left, while Michelle is pictured right

Before the show came out, Viola (pictured in the show) admitted she had ‘anxiety’ over playing Michelle, due to the high expectations that come with portraying a person beloved by so many

‘I’m glad it’s over!’ she said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week. ‘I mean, the stress… Because everybody likes – loves – Michelle Obama.

‘They know what she sounds like, they know what she looks like. And I’m like, “I don’t want Michelle Obama calling me, cussing me out.”‘

When the talk show host asked Viola if she had reached out to Michelle about the role, she added, ‘I am hiding from Michelle. I’m hiding. I’m hiding in my house. I’m not sending her nothing.’ 

‘That’s the kind of thing where you have to prostate yourself on the floor and just go, “OK, Michelle, I messed up.”‘

While the 56-year-old didn’t speak to Michelle during or after the making of the series, she has spoken her before — but she told Deadline that she’s keeping most of the contents of their conversation private.

‘What’s dramatic about Michelle Obama? I’ll tell you what’s dramatic,’ she told them.

‘She is a black woman and the first black woman in the White House built by slaves, someone who literally was perceived to be overly masculine, not feminine, angry, hostile, and I will share one thing that she said to me.


When asked if she had reached out to Michelle (right) about the role, Viola (left) said, ‘I am hiding from Michelle. I’m hiding. I’m hiding in my house. I’m not sending her nothing’ 


Viola (left) previously said of portraying Michelle (right), ‘What I wanted to do was honor her and not the perception of what black women are supposed to be’ 


The 10-part series is also set to focus on Betty Ford – who will be played by Michelle Pfeiffer  (left) – and Eleanor Roosevelt – who will be played by Gillian Anderson (right)

”She said, “I’m not even an angry person.” Isn’t that something? Listen, I am sort of an angry person, but she’s not.

‘And so what I wanted to do was honor her and not the perception of what black women are supposed to be.’ 

Viola said they employed artistic license throughout the show – like when Michelle uses the n-word in a conversation with her husband about racist attacks. 

‘We use creative license because we all know that Michelle Obama is someone who does not like politics, the viciousness of it,’ she explained.

‘And so it was an imagined conversation. And I did push for those words to be used because I know that those are the words that black people use in private.

‘We do. We use those words in private, especially to drive something home, and Michelle Obama is from the South Side of Chicago.

‘So I felt it was imagined but I felt good about it being something that could have happened.’

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