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But racism was so entrenched in Hollywood that despite pleas by organizations such as the NAACP and SAG --and the very examples that Black service men were setting as they fought against Hitler in WWII-- roles for blacks continued to denigrate the African American experience. So rather than see her stature increase in Hollywood, as did other Oscar-winning actresses, Hattie McDaniel, continued to play servants. And rather than see her popularity increase, her audience turned against her as an increasingly politicized black community criticized her and her peers for accepting degrading roles. "I'd rather play a maid then be a maid," Hattie McDaniel answered her critics but her flip response belied a woman who was herself emotionally conflicted about the roles she accepted but who tried to imbue each Mammy character with dignity and nuance.