Viola Davis is responding to the accusations that her new movie ‘The Woman King’ is not historically accurate.
The Oscar-winning actress and her husband Julius Tennon, who produced the movie with Viola, are speaking out in response to people calling to boycott the movie because it didn’t address the Dahomey Kingdom’s involvement in slavery.
While speaking to Variety, the couple confirmed that “most of the story is fictionalized.”
“First of all, I agree with Gina Prince-Bythewood’s saying is you’re not going to win an argument on Twitter. 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,” Viola said.
Julius added, “We are now what we call ‘edu-tainment.’ 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. Unfortunately, people wouldn’t be in the theaters doing the same thing we saw this weekend. 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.”
“Part of the story that hit me as an artist was these women were unwanted,” Viola continued. “They were recruited between the ages of eight and 14. They were the women who were not considered desirable. No one wanted to marry them. They were unruly. They were recruited by the King to fight for the kingdom of Dahomey. They were not allowed to marry or have children. The ones who refused the call were beheaded. That’s also a part of the story. People really are being emotionally shifted. I saw a TikTok video today of women in a bathroom of an AMC theater, and I don’t think they knew each other. They were all chanting and ruminating. That cannot be quantified by words.”
And there you have it. Have you seen ‘The Woman King’ yet?