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Oscar award-winning actress Viola Davis has had her performance as former First Lady Michelle Obama criticised.

The first episode of the Showtime series The First Lady aired in the US on Sunday evening and has got people talking.

The show follows the lives of three former First Ladies of presidents from different decades – Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gerald Ford.

Gillian Anderson plays Eleanor Roosevelt while Michelle Pfeiffer takes on Betty Ford.

One particular scene prompted a lot of discussion around Davis’ performance as it saw her, as Michelle Obama, conversing with O-T Fagbenle who plays the former president Barack Obama.

Fans suggested that Davis was overly pursing her lips during the scene and took to social media to vent their frustration at the “unnecessary” action.

One person wrote: “They set Viola Davis up by allowing her keep her mouth that way throughout the filming. It’s so cringey and distracting.”

Another added: “Viola could’ve just acted normally and changed the tone of her voice without having to change what she got going on with her mouth.”

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One critic wrote: “This Thing Viola is doing with her mouth is totally unnecessary! I don’t see Michelle when she does it , I just see teeth!”

Someone else added: “I love viola davis but I cant take this First Lady thing seriously. The mouth thing looks like satire and she literally could’ve done without doing it the whole time. That’s not how Michelle always looks or talks anyways.”

Speaking to Vanity Fair about her preparation for the role, Davis said she listened to podcasts featuring Michelle “over 100 times” and watched videos to emulate her body language.

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