If there’s something social media does best, it’s finding something to be mad at.
And the latest subject of controversy? The woman-led film, The Woman King, which stars award-winning actress Viola Davis, new James Bond’s 007 Lashana Lynch, and Underground Railroad’s Sheila Atim and Thuso Mbedu, with a currently trending hashtag of #BoycottWomanKing.
The Gina Prince Bythewood-directed movie, which debuted this past Friday (September 16) in movie theaters, has been evoking mixed reactions from numerous movie critics because they think it obscured the history of the Kingdom of Dahomey.
If you haven’t had time to review the trailer or peruse its bio, the film’s subject dates back to a kingdom in West Africa – current-day Benin – that reigned from 1600 to 1904 and had a growth concurrently with the rise of the Atlantic slave trade.
And that’s exactly where the issue lies for those who disagree with the country’s relationship with slave trade. Specifically, an article by the National Review reveals that the kingdom of Dahomey was guilty of participating in slave trade with European merchants, offering up their own people in exchange for goods.
But, while the historical notations are valid, they also don’t reflect the film’s content – it doesn’t shy away from linking the Kingdom of Dahomey and the objectionable slave trade. In fact, the firm, written by Maria Bello and Dana Stevens, highlights that internal conflict as Davis’ general Nanisca character tries convincing her King, played by John Boyega, to abandon slave trade due to its detrimental impact on its people.
Gina Prince is aware of the backlash but says she learned early on that you can’t win an argument on Twitter.
“I know all this will go away once they see the film. There’s an assumption we’re not dealing with it, and we’re dealing with it. So, I have to live in that confidence. They’re going to see the firm, and they’re going to see it,” Prince Bythewood told lndieWire in a recent interview.
However, some Twitter users started dragging while others refused and went on to support and watch the film. Check out some of the reactions below:
BLACK WOMEN NEED THIS KIND OF EMPOWERMENT. WE ARE RESILIENT IN MANY WAYS. WE, TOO OFTEN, ARE PUT IN A BOX AND OUR STRENGTH IS CONSTANTLY BEING TESTED. WE AREN’T ONE DIMENSIONAL. WE ARE MORE THAN OUR STRENGTH. WE HAVE MANY FACES. WE MAY FALL BUT WE DON’T STAY DOWN! #WOMANKING
I CAN’T REALLY PROCESS THIS FULLY YET. BUT #WOMANKING MIGHT BE THE BEST DEPICTION OF AFRICAN RESISTANCE I’VE EVER SEEN. IT MIGHT BE THE BEST MOVIE I’VE SEEN, PERIOD. I KNEW IT WOULD BE GOOD, AND YET I AM STILL STUNNED.
NO ONE SHOULD SUPPORT THIS FILM. EVEN IN THIS #WOMANKING MOVIE’S FICTIONAL PORTRAYAL OF THEM STOPPING THE SLAVE TRADE FOR PALM OIL THAT WAS SO THEY COULD BE SLAVERS & USE THE SLAVES FOR PALM OIL PRODUCTION. AND EVEN THAT IS A LIE WHITES FORCED THEM TO STOP. #BOYCOTTWOMANKING
U R NOT WRONG…THESE SAME DUPLICITOUS PPL, GROUPS, & INSTITUTIONS REINFORCE RACIALIZED PROPAGANDA, WHICH HARMS ADOS BY INVALIDATING THE GENERATIONAL TRAUMA THESE FEMALES INTENTIONALLY INITIATED. @DERRICKNAACP #BOYCOTTTHEWOMANKING
What is your opinion on all this? And have you watched The Woman King? What was your reaction? Let us know in the comment section below!