Viola Davis and Director Gina Prince-Bythewood Defend “The Woman King” Against Social Media Backlash Calling for Boycott of Film

Viola Davis and Gina Prince-Bythewood (Santiago Felipe/Getty)

The Woman King actress Viola Davis and director Gina Prince-Bythewood are speaking out about the #BoycottWomanKing social media backlash.

In an interview with Variety earlier this week, Davis was asked about the film, which some feel “doesn’t address the Dahomey Kingdom’s involvement in slavery,” the outlet noted.

“First of all, I agree with Gina Prince-Bythewood’s saying is you’re not going to win an argument on Twitter,” said the Oscar winner, 57. “We entered the story where the kingdom was in flux, at a crossroads.”

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She added, “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.”

Produced by Davis and her husband Julius Tennon, “The Woman King is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen,” an official synopsis read.

Prince-Bythewood, indeed, did tell IndieWire in an interview published Saturday, “I learned early on you cannot win an argument on Twitter.”

“And I know all of that is going to go away once they see the film,” added the director, 53. “There’s an assumption we’re not dealing with it, and we are dealing with it. So I have to live in that confidence. They’re going to see the film and they’re going to see it.”

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