(LOS ANGELES) — When Taraji P. Henson received some negative tweets about her new movie The Best of Enemies being just like the Oscar winning Green Book, she immediately just shut down her critics.
“I did see ‘Green Book’ and I don’t see the similarities,” the Empire star tells USA Today. Henson stars in the true story of civil rights activist Ann Atwater who formed an unlikely bond with Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis to help desegregate schools in Durham, North Carolina, in 1971.
The eight-time NAACP Image Award winner and Oscar nominee was also criticized for how her character spoke “broken lingo” in the film. One person tweeted, “It’s so offensive to depict blacks speaking like this when it’s not true. A lot of blacks in that era was educated and spoke normally.”
On that note, Henson responded, “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,” adding, “I’ve actually confronted some of those tweets by telling them just to Google her. We didn’t make this up.”
After portraying NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson in Hidden Figures, Henson says that Atwater was another a strong African American woman who defied racism.
“She didn’t bite her tongue,” Henson says. “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.”
The Best of Enemies opens in theaters Friday.
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