Moviegoers have a tendency to lump all movies with Black leads together, but Taraji P. Henson is not having it.
After reading some tweets suggesting that her latest movie The Best of Enemies is noticeably similar to the Oscar-winning yet controversial film, Green Book, the actress set the record straight.
“I did see Green Book and I don’t see the similarities,” Henson told USA Today.
In The Best of Enemies she portrays Ann Atwater a civil rights activist forced to work with Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis to successfully desegregate the Durham, North Carolina school system in 1971.
In Green Book, Mahershala Ali plays an extremely talented pianist, Dr. Don Shirley, who taps an Italian-American driver and bodyguard, with his own prejudices, to drive him through the deep south for a tour. The film was not only panned by Dr. Shirley’s family, but many critics called the film yet another “white savior” flick.
The Oscar-nominated actress also addressed criticisms about her character’s dialect in the not yet released film.
One person tweeted their objections writing, “It’s so offensive to depict blks speaking like this when it’s not true. A lot of blks in that era was educated and spoke normally.”
Henson advised detractors to do their research.
“It’s unfortunate because they’re judging something they have not seen yet, just because this is of the era of civil rights and she talks a certain kind of way,” she said. “I’ve actually confronted some of those tweets by telling them just to Google her. We didn’t make this up.”
Henson expressed admiration for Atwater and enthusiasm for the opportunity to tell her story.
“She didn’t bite her tongue,” Henson stated. “She knew what was right and what was wrong, and she fought for justice for people who were being oppressed. It upset her and every breath of her body was to fight against that.”
Watch her bring that fight to the big screen when The Best of Enemies hits theaters Friday.