Cleopatra is one of the most significant and popular names in Egyptian history. The Queen of Egypt’s Ptolemaic Kingdom has inspired several films, books, and television shows over the years. Netflix recently released the trailer of their upcoming series titled ‘Queen Cleopatra.’
The show has been at the receiving end of a lot of backlash from the people of Egypt. It mostly stems from the fact that the titular queen is being played by a person of color. The Egyptians have been stating that she was not black. So let us take an in-depth look at this controversy.
What Is The ‘Queen Cleopatra’ Controversy?
Several experts from Egypt have been expressing their displeasure with Netflix’s documentary series ‘Queen Cleopatra.’ According to CNBC News, they have accused the streaming giant of misrepresenting history.
In the series, Adele James (a girl of color) is playing the titular character. However, experts have stated that the queen was of Greek descent and light-skinned. On Thursday, the Cairo government issued a statement over it and called the series a “blatant historical fallacy.”
People from Egypt have been demanding the cancellation of the show. Executive produced by Jada-Pinkett Smith, the eight-episode docu-series is slated to hit the streamer on May 10.
Earlier, Gal Gadot was cast to play the queen in a film, a move which was seen as an act of “whitewashing” by Hollywood from several experts.
In case you missed: Will There Be ‘The Night Agent’ Season 2 On Netflix?
Egypt’s Ministry Of Tourism Has Issued A Statement
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt has stated that the nature of the series “requires those in charge of its production to investigate accuracy and rely on historical and scientific facts.”
They argued that every piece of historical evidence, including coins and statues from that period, indicate that Cleopatra was light-skinned as she was of Macedonian Greek ancestry. Dr. Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, also issued a statement on this matter.
He said that the Queen’s depiction on the show is a “falsification of Egyptian history and a blatant historical fallacy.” Waziri also said that the controversy is “far from any ethnic racism, stressing full respect for African civilizations and for our brothers in the African continent that brings us all together.”
Tina Gharani, the show’s director, argues that Cleopatra was “eight generations away from these Ptolemaic ancestors, making the chance of her being white somewhat unlikely.”
You might also like to read: Is Netflix Series The Valhalla Murders Based On A True Story?