Viola Davis responds to #BoycottWomanKing: Story ‘is fictionalized. It must be’

Oscar winner Viola Davis has responded to critics of her newest movie, “The Woman King,” after they known as for a boycott of the film as a result of it isn’t solely traditionally correct.

The movie follows the story of the all-female army unit, often known as the Agojie, that guarded the West African kingdom of Dahomey from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.

“First of all, I agree with [the film’s director] Gina Prince-Bythewood’s saying is you’re not going to win an argument on Twitter,” Davis mentioned of the criticism in an interview with Variety. “We entered the story where the kingdom was in flux, at a crossroads. They were looking to find some way to keep their civilization and kingdom alive. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that they were decimated. Most of the story is fictionalized. It has to be.”

Julius Tennon, one of many film’s producers and Davis’ husband, additionally talked concerning the criticism.

“It’s history but we have to take license. We have to entertain people. If we just told a history lesson, which we very well could have, that would be a documentary,” Tennon mentioned. “We didn’t want to shy away from the truth. The history is massive and there are truths on that that are there. If people want to learn more, they can investigate more.”

The most important level of rivalry by on-line critics is that the film seemingly uplifts the girl with out absolutely acknowledging that the Dahomey tribe bought different Africans into slavery.

“Time to Boycott the Woman King movie. The film is about the Dahomey & Benin that traded slaves into the transatlantic. #BoycottWomanKing,” tweeted @tonetalks. “This may be the most offensive film to Black Americans in 40-50 years.”

Twitter consumer @EqualityEd wrote, “Let’s be honest folk. It’s movie about a African tribe famous for selling slaves to Europeans that was made into a female empowerment story by two White women writers. You don’t have to be very ‘woke’ to see the problem here. #BoycottWomanKing.”

Dana Stevens and Maria Bello, each white girls, are credited because the storywriters of the film.

Others on-line defended the film.

“Y’all want to boycott a movie that is literally ABOUT the thing you’re complaining about,” tweeted @JazminTruesdale. “The movie speaks on how EVERYONE (including African tribes) participated in the slave trade and it’s specific impact on black women. It’s a Masterpiece!”

@lmona823 tweeted, “Do NOT #BoycottWomanKing Instead, learn more. The movie delves into the horrors of the slave trade and how it affected black women, especially. It doesn’t glorify slavery, it condemns it.”

Historian and Howard University professor Ana Lucia Araujo wrote concerning the historical past of the Dahomey in a recent Slate article.

“In 1727, Dahomey conquered the Kingdom of Hueda, who lived along the coast, and took control of the port city of Ouidah, inaugurating its active participation in the Atlantic slave trade,” Araujo wrote. “Historians estimated that nearly one million enslaved Africans were put on ships to the Americas in Ouidah between 1659 and 1863. The port was the second largest supplier of African captives to the trade, behind only Luanda, in today’s Angola.”

The movie’s director, Prince-Bythewood, advised The Times that she immersed herself within the historical past of the Dahomey and reached out to historians to seek the advice of.

“I’d read this article in the Washington Post that was written by a descendant of these women, and so we reached out to him,” Prince-Bythewood mentioned of Princeton professor Leonard Wantchekon. “He’s an academic and scholar about Benin and the kingdom and he was such an incredible consultant for us. He has a whole team that we were able to reach out to anytime we had a question about food, dress, politics in the kingdom … they knew everything.”

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