The Woman King Controversy Explained

The entrance of the movie, ‘The Woman King’ has accompanied so much criticisms from critics across social media. The statements making rounds on social media platforms by viewers described the movie as an attempt at ‘whitewashing’ and ‘downplaying’ Africans’ involvement in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.


The Woman King is a story which revolves around the Agojies, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and their Amazonian-like fierceness in battle inspired by true events.

There has been calls for the movie to be underrated in recent days on Twitter with its hashtag ‘BoycottTheWomanKing.’

Some Africans have criticized the makers of the movie saying they were trying to “rewrite” the sordid past of the Agojie and downplaying the involvement of African slave traders.

But in contrast to their agenda, the movie has dominated the box office and has earned over 19 million dollars starring the Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis.

The Woman King Controversy Explained

The Woman King Controversy
The Dahomey Amazons (Fon: AgojieAgojiMino, or Minon) were a Fon all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey (in today’s Benin, West Africa) that existed from the 17th century until the late 19th century. 

Notwithstanding, the more critics fight against the movie, it is still gaining positive reviews from so many others. A Twitter user, Antonio Moore called the historical epic “the most offensive film to Black Americans in 40-50 years.”


Is Woman King historically accurate?

While most of The Woman King and its characters were largely fictionalized, a few of its central roles were inspired by actual accounts of Agojie women; Mbedu’s adolescent character Nawi was known as one of the last of the Agojie warriors, who passed away in 1979 at over 100 years in age.

What are the issues with the movie Woman King?

The film in fact attracted racist rhetoric even before it was released. Online commentators condemned the perceived savagery of the Dahomey kingdom. In those reports, particular attention was given to the “annual customs” in Dahomey, the palace rituals that sometimes included massive human sacrifices.

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