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.
"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.