The Woman King Actress Viola Davis and director Gina Prince-Bythewood discuss the #BoycottWomanKing backlash on social media.
In conversation with diversity 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 that you’re not going to win an argument on Twitter,” the 57-year-old Oscar winner said. “We entered history at a crossroads, where the kingdom was in flux. ”
She added: “They were looking for a way to keep their civilization and kingdom alive. They were only decimated at the end of the 19th century. Most of the story is fictional. 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 19th century with skill and ferocity the world had never seen,” reads an official summary.
Don’t miss a story – sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to keep up to date with the best that PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.
In fact, Prince-Bythewood told IndieWire in an interview published Saturday, “I learned early on that you can’t win an argument on Twitter.”
“And I know that once they see the film, all of that will go away,” added the 53-year-old director. “There’s an assumption that we don’t deal with it, and we deal with it. So I have to live with that trust. They will see the film and they will see it.
Speak with diversity, Tennon, 68, remarked, “We’re now what we call ‘edu-tainment.’ It’s history, but we have to take a license. We have to entertain people. If we were just going to tell one history lesson, which we could very well have, it would be a documentary.”
“Unfortunately, people weren’t in the theaters doing the same thing we saw that weekend. We didn’t want to shy away from the truth,” the producer added. “The story is extensive and there are truths about it. If people want to learn more, they can investigate more.”
RELATED VIDEO: Viola Davis Says She “Swagger” When Grocery Shopping After a Workout The Woman King
The Woman King debuted at #1 at the domestic box office over the weekend and has grossed over $19 million nationally. Weekly entertainment reported.
Apart from sharing with diversity that she’s “completely open to” a sequel, Davis also told the outlet that the “part of the story that struck me as an artist was that these women were unwanted.”
“They were recruited between the ages of 8 and 14. They were the women who were considered undesirable. No one wanted to marry her,” she said How to get away with murder said alum. “They were recalcitrant. They were recruited by the king to fight for the kingdom of Dahomey. They were not allowed to marry or have children. Those who refused the call were beheaded.”
“That’s also part of the story. People get really emotionally transformed,” Davis added. “I saw a TikTok video of women in a bathroom at an AMC theater today and I don’t think they knew each other. They all sang and thought. That cannot be quantified in words.”
The Woman King is now in cinemas.