Saturday, October 1, 2022

Viola Davis Has Responded to the ‘Boycott Woman King’ Controversy | VIDEO

Viola Davis - Woman King
Viola Davis – Woman King

*As we reported earlier, Sony’s “The Woman King” did its thing at the box office with a $19 million opening. Plainly put, it caught a lot of “experts” by surprise.

That’s because the film isn’t something lifted from a long-running cartoon series or even a derivative of another action-drama pic. It’s a big thrill to have an original action flick at the top of the box office.

That’s something new. Would ya believe that “The Woman King” doesn’t require you to have seen another film before seeing it?

But, there’s some hatin’ going on from folks who claim the film glorifies the slave trade. The Dahomey Kingdom, which “The Woman King” tells a mostly fictionalized account of, was involved in the slave trade, and critics of the film are accusing it of whitewashing and glorifying slavers.

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Julius Tennon - Viola Davis - GettyImages
Julius Tennon – Viola Davis – GettyImages

Speaking with Variety, Viola Davis and her producing partner, and husband Julius Tennon, defended the film, first by expressing the futility of arguing with people on social media.

“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.”

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