A Black Queen Cleopatra? Egyptians lash out at Netflix’s depiction – National

Debates over Cleopatra’s skin color have revived, this time with Egypt trying to hold Netflix responsible.

The country has accused the streaming giant of misrepresenting history by casting a mixed race woman to play a famous character in its upcoming show queen cleopatra.

Netflix released the trailer last week for a four-part docudrama starring Adele James as Cleopatra.

This week, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said: ongoing controversyposting a lengthy statement on Facebook.

The story continues under the ad

The statement was credited to the secretary-general of the country’s Supreme Archaeological Council, which many experts in Egypt said “Queen Cleopatra fair skin and (had) Greek characteristics.

It also argues that the documentary nature of the series, produced by Jada Pinkett-Smith, “requires its producers to research accuracy and rely on historical and scientific facts.”

The ministry points to coins and statues from the period, which they claim show fair-skinned women, in keeping with Cleopatra’s Macedonian Greek ancestry.

For Mostafa Waziri, chairman of the Supreme Archaeological Council, to portray Cleopatra as black is nothing less than a “falsification of Egyptian history.”

He added that his complaint “is far from ethnic racism and emphasizes a complete respect for African civilization and our brothers on the continent that unite us all.”

The story continues under the ad

Born in the Egyptian city of Alexandria in 69 BC, Cleopatra was the last queen of the Greek-speaking dynasty founded by Alexander the Great’s Macedonian general Ptolemy.

Her ethnicity has been hotly debated, but historians have been unable to pinpoint the identity of Cleopatra’s mother. There is a nature.

In February, Netflix’s companion website Tudum said the choice to cast James was ” Centuries of Conversation About the race of rulers. ”

But Egypt’s foremost archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, says there’s nothing to argue about.

“I’m not anti-black at all, but I have found it my duty as a rich man to state the facts and declare that Cleopatra is not brown.” wasn’t black‘ he wrote on Facebook.

“Cleopatra is like a Macedonian princess or queen, and if you look at her statue and coins,I found no evidence to support the claim that Cleopatra was brown,” he continued.

Egyptian lawyer Mahmoud Al-Semmarie was outraged by Netflix’s portrayal, filed a lawsuit With prosecutors to shut down Netflix in Egypt.

The story continues under the ad

The Egyptian Independent reports that Al Semari’s lawsuit calls for: legal action Those responsible for producing the documentary will be accused of “counterfeiting”.

“In order to maintain the national and cultural identity of Egypt among Egyptians around the world, we must take pride in the production of such works,” he wrote.

Series director Tina Garavi defended her casting choices in a first-person essay for Variety published last week.

“I did my research and realized how much of a political act it was. Cleopatra played by a black actressFor me, historically people from Theda Barra to Monica Bellucci and more recently Angelina Jolie and Gal Gadot were running to play her, so people used to be incredibly wrong. The idea of ​​​​meaning we had to get it even more right: a search was going on to find the right performer to bring Cleopatra into the 21st century,” she wrote.

The story continues under the ad

“Why not? Cleopatra is the black-haired sisterAnd why would anyone need Cleopatra to be white? Her proximity to white people seems to give her value and to some Egyptians it really matters It seems that

In her essay, Gharavi details a “massive online hate campaign” that has targeted her since signing on to the project.

“The Egyptians accused me of ‘tainting’ and ‘stealing’ their history. Some even threatened to ruin my career. I did it very well for myself.” You screwed me up, thank you very much!

However, she admits, “I’m not sure” if Cleopatra was black.

“But I’m pretty sure she wasn’t white like Elizabeth Taylor,” she concluded.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button