Viola Davis responded to those boycotting The Woman King, explaining that much of the story needed to be fictionalized.
by Jennifer Asencio | published
Viola Davis has responded to critics who are calling for a boycott of her new film, lady king, stressing the importance of engaging an audience and explaining that much of the story needs to be “fictional”. The actress’s film was released worldwide on September 17, but before the release, protests started on social media. The historical epic takes place in 1820 in the Kingdom of Dahomey, an African kingdom that existed during the height of the Atlantic Trade Triangle from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
In response to the proposed boycott, Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon, who is also her producer partner, each spoke out about the complaints. “We entered the story where the state was in flux, at a crossroads,” Davis said in an interview. Diversity, “They were looking for some way to keep their civilization and state alive. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that they were destroyed. Much of the story is fictional. It’s done.”
Tennon said, “Now we are what we call ‘edu-tenement.’ If it was, then that would be a documentary. Unfortunately, people won’t be in theaters what we saw this weekend… If people want to know more, they can check out more.”
The film is about Agoji, a division of female warriors who are part of the Dahomey army. Viola Davis plays Naniska, a general from Egozi, who is training the next generation for an impending war with the rival kingdom of Oyo and their Portuguese allies. Directed by Gina Prince-Blythwood and written by Dana Stevens from a story by Maria Bello, it also stars John Boyega and hero Fiennes Tiffin.
Boycotters are saying that the film pays little attention to the African slave trade and Dahomey’s role in selling slave people to European traders. Dahomey was located in West Africa, in what is now the nations of Benin and Togo. Historical artwork from the era supports this, commemorating the Dahomey warriors and trade with the Portuguese who were immortalized on bronze plaques and other metalwork, as chronicled in Khan Academy,
Complaints began on Twitter about the film’s historical accuracy, with some users claiming that it did not say enough about Dahomey’s role in perpetuating slavery or slavery of the time. Countermeasures have pointed out that it addresses slavery and the oppression of women in Dassomi society, and accuses the boycotters of trying to silence the black women in the film.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $19 million domestically and received praise from both film critics and audiences, despite the hashtag #BoycottWomanKing trending on Twitter. Its reception has been overwhelmingly positive, and critics say it touches on the horrors of slavery as well as the devaluation of women.
The film also featured several black women in Hollywood, including Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim and Jayme Lawson. Just as Naniska trains the younger generation of warriors in the film, lady king has given a new generation of black actresses a chance to shine, and the success of the film has put these women in the limelight where their talents can be clearly displayed. Working with a star of the caliber of Viola Davis could give her a further boost.
Viola Davis is best known for roles as Amanda Waller suicide squad and television shows peacemaker, both of which show that he is no stranger to action movies. He also won an Oscar for his role in 2016 fence, She is the most nominated black woman in Oscar history with four nominations. in addition to the following lady kingfans can expect to see him in hunger games prequel, ballad of songbirds and snakesin 2023.