AFP via Getty Images

Viola Davis responded to critics who say her number 1 box office film "The Woman King" is not historically accurate.

The Woman King tells a fictionalized account of Africa's Dahomey female warriors who, alongside their men, raided nearby villages and kidnapped men, women and children to be sold into slavery in the early 1800s.

Twitter critics called for a boycott of the film. They argued that Davis and the movie's white female writers glorified the masculine female warriors as heroines.

The Oscar-winning actress, who produced the movie with her husband Julius Tennon, told Variety magazine that most of the story is fiction, and not historical.

AFP via Getty Images

"First of all, I agree with [director] Gina Prince-Bythewood's saying is you're not going to win an argument on Twitter," Viola said.

"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."

Julius confirmed that they tweaked the story for entertainment value and to sell movie tickets. He suggested that critics read history books if they want to learn the true story of the Dahomey tribe.

"We are now what we call 'edu-tainment.' It's history but we have to take license. We have to entertain people," he said.

"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."

The Woman King surpassed expectations and grossed $19 million at the box office over the weekend.

Photo may have been deleted

Screenshot

The Woman King director Gina Prince-Bythewood is celebrating the movie topping the weekend box office.

The Woman King will win the weekend box office with an estimated $18 million opening. The movie's budget was $50 million.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Prince-Bythewood (left) is battling Twitter critics who say 'Woman King' is just another slavery movie that twists historical facts for entertainment value.

'Woman King' starring Viola Davis (right) and John Boyega, is a fictional account of an all-female African military in Dahomey.

Black Twitter argued the absurdity of a female general and her band of female warriors protecting the Dahomeys whilst they participated in the slave trade.

Davis's general Nanisca struggles to discourage King Ghezo (John Boyega) from selling his people to the Europeans.

Black Twitter says the film's writers Maria Bello and Dana Stevens turned a story about Africans selling slaves into a movie about Black female empowerment.

"You don't have to be very "woke" to see the problem here," one Twitter user wrote.

Photo may have been deleted

Screenshot

Prince-Bythewood's response to critics is to shut up and go see the movie.

"I learned early on you cannot win an argument on Twitter," Prince-Bythewood told IndieWire.

"And I know all of that is going to go away once they see the film. 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 [like] it."

Watch the trailer below.
 

Photo may have been deleted

Screenshot

Sony Pictures released the official trailer for The Woman King, a true story about female warriors in The Kingdom of Dahomey.

The Woman King stars Academy ward winner Viola Davis as "the most exceptional female warrior to ever live."

Davis trains the other female warriors to rise up and fight for their freedom when their African men fall short.

Critics are already calling The Woman King a "slasher film" due to the women's weapons of choice — intricately designed ceremonial swords.

Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King also stars Lashana Lynch and John Boyega as King Ghezo.

Africans are insulted that Beyonce's "My Power" is used in the trailer. They want producers to remove Beyonce and include artists who represent the African culture.

One person wrote: "Beyonce really is talented but doesn't deserve to be the theme for a song made by a people who can very much manage to create their own."

Watch the trailer below.
 

Photo may have been deleted

Showtime, Getty Images

Viola Davis opened up about the criticism to her cringe-worthy portrayal of former first lady Michelle Obama in Showtime's TV series, The First Lady.

Social media users dogged the Oscar winner for exaggerating Obama's facial expressions in the series premiere.
 
RELATED: Viola Davis was ‘absolutely terrified’ playing Michelle Obama in new TV series
 
In an earlier interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Davis, 56, said she was "nervous" and "terrified" while playing Michelle, 58.

"There's a lot of fear that I messed up my portrayal of Michelle Obama," Davis said at the series' premiere screening on April 14.

"She's an icon. Everyone knows what she looks like and what she sounds like so I am absolutely terrified. But I'm mostly terrified about what she will think. I don't want to insult her and have her calling me. I gotta make the sister look good."

Photo may have been deleted

Screencap: YouTube

But outraged viewers called Davis's portrayal "insulting" and "offensive." They also faulted the director for not instructing her to tone down her facial expressions.

One person tweeted: "They set Viola Davis up by allowing her keep her mouth that way throughout the filming. It's so cringey and distracting [sic]."

Davis was not apologetic in her comments to BBC News.

"Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I'm not saying that to be nasty either," she told BBC News.

"They always feel like they're telling you something that you don't know. Somehow that you're living a life that you're surrounded by people who lie to you and 'I'm going to be the person that leans in and tells you the truth'. So it gives them an opportunity to be cruel to you. But ultimately I feel like it is my job as a leader to make bold choices. Win or fail it is my duty to do that."

Davis suggested it wasn't easy playing Mrs. Obama. In fact, she said it was "almost impossible" to portray the wife of former President Barack Obama.

"Either you're doing too much or not enough," she said.

Davis acknowledged she has not heard from Michelle. "I don't have any personal contact with Michelle Obama," she said.

Despite Davis's confident stance, friends described the 56-year-old as "Devastated" by the criticism.
 

Tiffany Rose/Getty Images

Viola Davis and her daughter Genesis Tennon are very close. The 11-year-old is very protective of the Oscar winning actress. Sources say Genesis comforted Viola after Twitter users criticized her Michelle Obama portrayal.

A source said Viola was "devastated" by the criticism.

4CRNS, WCP / BACKGRID

Genesis carried a big stick to fend off wild animals on an outing with her mom and their dog in Toluca Lake, California.


 

Viola, 56, and her husband Julian Tennon adopted Genesis when she was an infant in 2011. Viola is also stepmom to Tennon's older children from previous relationships.

Genesis wants to be an actress

According to Hollywood Life, Genesis is taken acting lessons to follow in the footsteps of her famous mom.

"I empower her to understand that she has to count it all as joy," Viola said. "Even her mistakes, her failures, her triumphs, what she looks like, all of it. That's all a part of her loving herself, even if none of those things change."

Genesis loves Harry Potter

Genesis celebrated her 11th birthday with a Harry Potter-themed party. Viola shared videos from the party on Instagram. She captioned the July 19 post:

"Can it get anymore perfect!?!?! ALL my loves... daughter, hubby and my mommy. Happy 11th birthday G. Mama, Daddy and Grandma love you sooo much. You make my life. Love YOU!!!"

Viola and Genesis both modeled for Beyonce's Ivy Park

Beyonce chose Viola and Genesis to model outfits for her latest Ivy Park campaign.

Viola wore a brown monogram top and leggings from the Honey Drip collection while Genesis rocked a pink cargo hoodie and sweatpants with a matching beanie.

Photo may have been deleted

Showtime

Viola Davis is reportedly "devastated" by the public's reaction to her honest portrayal of Michelle Obama in a new Showtime series that debuted on Sunday, April 17.

Black Twitter users continue to drag the Oscar winner after her "insulting" portrayal of the former first lady in "The First Lady."

Davis stars alongside actors Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt in the TV series that documents the personal lives of former first ladies.

Twitter users were outraged over Davis' "offensive" and "distracting" portrayal after episode 1 aired on Sunday.

Photo may have been deleted

Screencap: YouTube

For some reason, Davis pursed her lips and made strange facial expressions while playing the wife of former President Barack Obama.

In an earlier interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Davis, 56, said she was "nervous" and "terrified" about playing Michelle, 58.

"There's a lot of fear that I messed up my portrayal of Michelle Obama," Davis said at the series' premiere screening on April 14.

"She's an icon. Everyone knows what she looks like and what she sounds like so I am absolutely terrified. But I'm mostly terrified about what she will think. I don't want to insult her and have her calling me. I gotta make the sister look good."

However, viewers say Davis reduced Michelle Obama to a cartoon caricature.

One Twitter user wrote: "Idc how great of an actress Viola Davis is, she 100% deserves everything she’s getting right now for this portrayal."

Another user tweeted: "Don't be getting defensive when them yt folks start dragging viola Davis for that role... y'all opened the door for disrespect."

And a third person wrote: "Crazy everyone was hype about Viola Davis playing the role of Michelle Obama but the only thing that’s been getting highlighted are her damn lips... they did Michelle wrong."

Photo may have been deleted

Screencap: YouTube

At first glance Viola Davis' portrayal of former first lady Michelle Obama seemed like a Saturday Night Live skit.

Davis plays Michelle Obama in a Showtime series titled "The First Lady" that debuted on Sunday night.

In one scene from the series, Davis constantly pursed her lips and made exaggerated facial expressions while speaking to the actor who plays former President Barack Obama.

Black Twitter wondered how Michelle felt about Viola's over-the-top acting.

Davis continued her exaggerated facial expressions in another scene that looked like it came straight out of Tyler Perry's "The Oval" TV series.

It isn't clear why the Oscar winner played the part of Michelle the way she did. Or if she was directed to play a comical version of the real Michelle

TMZ reports that Davis was taking her role very seriously. But Twitter didn't think so.

Black Twitter wasn't happy with Viola's acting skills. See the comments below.

Shareif Ziyadat / FilmMagic

Missy Elliott, Eve, Ludacris, T.I., Viola Davis, and Chance the Rapper are among the celebrities leading the tributes to rap legend DMX who passed away at age 50 on Friday, April 9.

DMX, real name Earl Simmons, died one week after he was hospitalized following a heart attack.

Missy Elliott was among the first to take to Twitter to send her condolences to his loved ones.

"Even through you had battles you TOUCHED so many through your MUSIC and when you would PRAY so many people FELT THAT!," she wrote. "This is heavy for the HipHop family but your LEGACY LIVES ON & SPIRIT. Continued Prayers for X family & friends for STRENGTH/HEALING (sic)".

Photo may have been deleted

Actress Viola Davis tweeted: "RIP DMX. I pray for the comfort of your children and loved ones [praying hands emoji]."

Photo may have been deleted

Rapper Ludacris posted on Instagram. "The Impact That this Man made on The Culture is Unprecedented. I Have So Many Great Stories Of Hanging With X that I will truly Cherish for the Rest Of my Life. One of the Most Genuine & Passionate Human Beings I've ever had the pleasure of Sharing Memorable Time & Energy With. Rest In Peace Soldier (sic)".

Chance The Rapper tweeted simply, "Rest in Heaven DMX."

Photo may have been deleted

While disgraced rapper Tip "T.I." Harris tweeted: "Rest In Peace to a cultural icon. There are no words that can mend the loss the hip-hop community felt today," and Ice-T shared, "Very Very Very few will EVER do it like you homie…. Man! This sucks… Tooooo Fn (f**king) young to go. Rest easy X."

Photo may have been deleted

DMX's former Ruff Ryders Entertainment labelmate and former rapper Eve also paid her respects on Twitter.

Araya Doheny/Getty Images

"#mydog I know that you are in the place of peace you deserve. I will be forever grateful to have known you. You were one of the most special people I have ever met. Full of Humor, talent, wisdom and love and most of all loyalty. This world has lost a REAL ONE but the heavens have gained an ANGEL. May you Rest".

Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Original Ruff Ryders artist Swizz Beatz (left) has yet to issue a statement, but he shared a captionless image of his late pal on his Instagram Story timeline on Friday.

Johnny Nunez / Wireimage

Officials at DMX's previous label, Def Jam Recordings, also issued a statement, expressing their heartache at his untimely death.

"DMX was a brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world," it read. "His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity.

Robin Platzer / FilmMagic

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him and were touched by him. DMX was nothing less than a giant. His legend will live on forever."

Other tributes were written by Questlove, M.I.A., Tom Morello, Black Eyed Peas' apl.de.ap, singer Kehlani, and Jada Pinkett Smith, as well as sports stars LeBron James and Adrian Peterson, and wrestling legend Iron Sheik.
 

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Viola Davis and her husband have a secret that makes their marriage stronger: they take a bath together "every night".

The Ma Rainey's Black Bottom star and her spouse, Julius Tennon, make sure to make time for one another every morning and every night, when they share a relaxing soak in their jacuzzi and their bathtub.

"We have together time every single morning when we get in the jacuzzi and we have together time every night 'cause we get in the tub together. And we soak in the tub and we talk. Sometimes he falls asleep with his mouth open!" she told People magazine.

Viola, 55, even treats her 66-year-old husband to her skincare routine.

"I give him facials. And we just chat, chat, chat, and he's just really sweet. Every single day we do that," she smiled.

AXELLE WOUSSEN/Bauergriffin.com

Meanwhile, the Fences star - who shares nine-year-old adopted daughter Genesis with Julius - previously revealed the secret to a long-lasting marriage is all "about the everyday".

She said:

"I think that, that's what people forget when they fall in love with someone and it's exciting. You have to get back to the everyday – the taking the garbage out, the cooking, the cleaning – and it's something that I think really works with me and my husband. Every day is like a date."

WENN/Avalon

Actress Viola Davis says she expects to be treated like she was born with less melanin than her Hollywood counterparts.

Davis, 55, says her dark skin has resulted in a "lack of access to opportunities" in Hollywood. She demands to sit at the same table with her white counterparts.

In an interview with InStyle magazine, the Oscar winner compares the disparity to eating the finest steak instead of leftovers.

"I want and I expect to get the same filet mignon that white actresses get!"

WENN/Avalon

She added: "Cooked at the exact temperature. You cannot throw me a bone with a really nice little piece of meat still on it and expect that's good enough for me. I love my collard greens and all of that, and I know we were given the leftovers. I know how to cook that, but I want a filet mignon."

The Ma Rainey's Black Bottom star goes on to say she "fully expects changes" to occur in Hollywood. But the slow changes are driving her to drink.

"I'm trying to lift my hopes up. Even if it takes a little bit of vodka. If we don't move forward together, then we don’t move forward."

Photo may have been deleted

Instagram.com

Viola Davis finally made the cover of Vanity Fair magazine after winning an Oscar Award, an Emmy, a Golden Globe Award, and more accolades as a star on the Black A-list.

The dark, moody cover features "The Help" actress wearing an afro wig and a blue dress with a cut out back detail.

"It's about frickin' time," wrote ShowBiz411's Roger Friedman. "It would have been nicer on the September issue, and a cover photo where you could see her face, but we'll take it!"

The cover was shot by Dario Calmese, the first Black photographer to ever shoot a Vanity Fair cover, according to Friedman.

"Change comes slowly at Vanity Fair," Friedman wrote. "Radhika Jones [a person of color] has been the editor in chief for how long now? But we'll take it!"

Photo by Apega/WENN.com

In the cover feature, Viola said she planned to attend protests calling for justice for George Floyd, the Black Minnesota man who was killed in police custody in May.

Davis's close friend and neighbor, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, talked her out of it because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I immediately talked her out of that." Davis told Vanity Fair via email.

IOS/London Ent / Splash News

"Both of us cried," Spencer continues. "This WAS our civil rights movement, and we were sidelined because of health issues. We felt isolated from the movement."

Davis told VF she regrets accepting her role in The Help, a box office hit about racism in the deep south told from the perspective of a domestic housekeeper.

"There's no one who's not entertained by 'The Help.' But there's a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn't ready to [tell the whole truth]," Davis said, adding that the film was "created in the filter and the cesspool of systemic racism."

Photo by WENN.com

Davis, 54, admitted she took the role in the hopes that it would make her "pop" in Hollywood. "I was that journeyman actor, trying to get in," she said.

And while the movie increased her visibility in Hollywood, the job offers weren't pouring in.

She said when people ask her why she transitioned to television rather than continue making movies, she said, "I always ask them, What movies? What were those movies? Listen, I got 'Widows,' but if I just relied on the Hollywood pipeline... No, there are not those roles."

Photo may have been deleted

Photos by WENN.com

Viola Davis confesses she wanted to look more like Oprah Winfrey as a younger woman at the beginning of her acting career.

The Oscar-winning 'Fences' star says she loved the media mogul's confidence and beauty at the 1986 Academy Awards, and she dreamed of looking just like her.

Viola Davis at the 90th Annual Academy Awards

Photo by WENN.com

"I wanted to look like Oprah, especially when she went to the Oscars for The Color Purple," Davis tells People magazine. "I thought she was the most beautiful [woman].

But the 54-year-old reveals she never told that to Oprah's face, now that they've become good friends.

Photo by Patricia Schlein/WENN.com

"I never told her that," she adds. "Literally, Oprah went to one of my weddings and I never had the guts to say, 'Oprah, I was always trying to look like you!'"

Viola admits she has more confidence in herself now and she's happy with the beautiful African woman she sees in the mirror.

Photo: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com

"Now, I don't want to look like anyone other than me," she adds. "I love embracing my nose and my lips. It's like all of a sudden, I was like, 'Viola, that's what your lips always looked like? Why'd you have a problem with that?' I love wearing red lipstick, which took me a long time, because I think my lips are fabulous."

Source: WENN.com

Sheri Determan/WENN.com

Viola Davis has a new gig as brand ambassador and the official face of French cosmetics giant L'Oreal Paris.

Executives at L'Oreal announced the Oscar-winning actress will be the official face of Age Perfect, one of her first beauty campaigns, WENN.com reports.

Sheri Determan/WENN.com

"As a young girl, I wasn't always told that I was smart, beautiful, or worthy," the 54 year old said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

"I worked tremendously hard to get where I am today, overcoming feelings of doubt to become a woman who truly believes I am 'worth it' in every way. I believe it's so important to build confidence in women from a young age... To now be part of a brand that has been championing women's worth for more than 40 years and to use my voice to help empower others is truly surreal."

Viola joins a roster of diverse spokespeople, including Celine Dion, Dame Helen Mirren, Eva Longoria, Elle Fanning, Aja Naomi King, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Camila Cabello, among others, who have represented L'Oreal Paris.

The Fences star will appear in TV, print and digital advertising campaigns for Age Perfect, beginning later this month.

Viola Davis and her family walked the green carpet at the Hollywood Premiere of Columbia Pictures 'The Angry Birds Movie 2' at the Regency Theater on Saturday. Viola brought her daughter, Genesis Tennon, and her husband Julius Tennon.

It was also a family affair for actor Sterling K. Brown, his wife Michelle Bathe, and their son.

Saturday Night Live veteran Leslie Jones got all glammed up in an evening gown for the Hollywood premiere of the kiddie movie.

Mario Armando Lavandeira, aka blogger Perez Hilton brought his children - son Mario Armando Lavandeira III and daughter Mia Alma Lavandeira to the premiere of The Angry Birds Movie 2.

Perez has been depressed over money problems after Instagram changed its algorithms to make it harder for bloggers to earn revenue from their platform without paying a fee.

Photos by WENN.com