Gina Prince-Bythewood Talks ‘The Woman King,’ Social Media Criticism From ‘Wikipedia Historians’ and Possible Reboot of ‘A Different World’

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood knows you can’t win an argument on Twitter. That’s why she stays off social media platforms and chose not to engage with users that were attacking her, and the filmmakers from her box office hit “The Woman King” for taking license in its depiction of the West African kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th to 19th centuries, and its role in the slave trade. “There was an absolute assumption we weren’t dealing with it,” Prince-Bythewood says. “So much of the argument is based on bad facts. So, what the ‘Wikipedia historians’ are parroting is history written from the wrong point of view.”

Listen below:

On this episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, we sit down with acclaimed filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood to discuss her historical epic “The Woman King” from Sony Pictures. She discusses the challenges of shooting and getting shut down during COVID, along with the possibility of seeing a reboot of the sitcom “A Different World” (1987-1993), in which she served as one of the writers.

With “The Woman King,” she’s reached new heights. The Sony Pictures film has grossed $54 million domestically so far, with an additional $10 million coming from other territories. It’s garnered critical acclaim with standout notices for its cast which includes Oscar-winner Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu and Lashana Lynch. Prince-Bythewood herself is generating awards buzz, looking to snag one of the five coveted spots for best director. If achieved, she would be the first Black woman ever nominated in the category.

Prince-Bythewood’s filmography has produced some of the most culturally relevant and genre-bending stories over the last 20 years. Beginning with her debut “Love & Basketball” (2000), which introduced the world to Sanaa Lathan, she continued to share her visionary talents in films such as “Beyond the Lights” (2014) with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and “The Old Guard” with Charlize Theron.

Later in this episode, we sit down with German actress Nina Hoss about her performance in Todd Field’s “Tár” opposite Cate Blanchett. She discusses some of the movie’s most elusive questions and how the stage prepared her for a career in film.

But first, the Awards Circuit roundtable is back discussing the films that premiered at the fall festivals such as “The Fabelmans” and the year of populist flicks and box-office hits like “Top Gun: Maverick” making a play for the Oscars’ top category.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, who also co-hosts with Clayton Davis, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.

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