It’s a classic case of identity theft…and millions of Americans were unwitting accomplices.
Abilene Cooper says as she turned the pages of “The Help”, it was like looking at her own life. The best-selling novel proved to be a literary sensation for author Kathryn Stockett and was destined to hit the silver screen. The story of black servants living in the south in the sixties painted a raw picture of the heartache, humiliation and resilience of its main characters. The central character was Aibileen Clark (the author didn’t stretch too far for that name) spent 12 years taking care of rich, white southern families and shares her life story with Skeeter—the daughter of the family she works for and would be writer. It is a heartwarming story of a friendship between black and white forged in spite of overwhelming odds of Jim Crow, Segregation and the violent force to change.
OK, that’s the Disney version…here’s the “Reel” story. The real Abilene Cooper says of the author, “I think she is just a racist. She claims she respect black people but she just ran all over me.”
Cooper never consented for her life to be made into a book or movie. Cooper says she did babysit Stockett’s daughter and actually worked as a maid for Stockett’s brother.
She says the book forced her to relieve painful memories like when Aibileen’s skin color is compared to a cockroach. Cooper says “how can a person be that cruel?”
“The Help” raked in $216 million at the box office. Cooper only asked for a mere $75,000 in damages. Abilene says the lawsuit wasn’t about money…it was about hypocrisy.
I never watched the movie or read the book…doubt I ever will. Stockett’s book and movie were hailed as some great work of art bridging the great divide between blacks and whites. Instead, it’s just a heartwarming lie to mask the injustice blacks still face. So after hearing the “Reel” story, do you still think “The Help” was the best movie ever?