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How to Get Away with Murder: Viola Davis discusses progressive roles

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While film and television are still struggling to become as diverse as it’s viewers, Viola Davis is proud to be on a show where they not only embrace diversity, but take it to fresh places.

During an interview with EW to discuss season 3 of How to Get Away With Murder, the actress shared her thoughts on what the show does so well. “When I look back at How to Get Away With Murder in the second season, what I feel it did right, what it always does right as far as I’m concerned, is it makes the attempt to explore the life of this woman in a way that’s bold, in a way that’s strong,” she shared. “Even if it becomes extreme, the fact that they make an effort in a strong, bold way.”

In recent years, television has become more diverse as Davis, Kerry Washington, and Taraji P. Henson are all headlining hit network shows, but the Oscar nominee still feels like what her show is doing in handling the lives of women of color is extremely rare.

“I think with women in leading roles — black women — to really explore our pathology, to really explore it, and not apologize for it, not to just reduce it to something that’s maternal, mammified, or just one-line zingers is very bold and very progressive,” she said. “That’s one of the things that the show does right. I think sometimes we may go to the extreme, it doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is it just needs to be done.”

How to Get Away With Murder returns to ABC on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET. Watch the video above.