Hello, lovely readers! It’s Julia Reynolds here with the latest news on a trending controversy that has been circulating the internet. Netflix’s upcoming docu-series, “African Queens: Queen Cleopatra,” has received backlash from Egyptian experts who accuse the streaming giant of “blackwashing” the legendary queen of Egypt.
Narrated and executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, the show stars Adele James, a biracial actress, as Queen Cleopatra VII. Pinkett Smith explained that she wanted to represent black women through the project. However, Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, a former antiquities minister, is not happy with the portrayal of the queen, who he claims was wholly Greek, not black.
Hawass has accused Netflix of “trying to provoke confusion by spreading false and deceptive facts that the origin of the Egyptian civilization is black.” He claims that Cleopatra was Greek, meaning that she was light-skinned and not black. In addition, lawyer Mahmoud al-Semary has filed a complaint with the country’s public prosecutor to demand that Netflix be blocked in Egypt. Al-Semary claims that Netflix is trying to promote Afrocentric thinking and erase the Egyptian identity.
A petition titled “Cancel Netflix’s ‘Queen Cleopatra'” has garnered over 3,200 signatures on Change.org, and the official trailer, which was released last week, has over 2 million views on YouTube. The trailer’s comments have been disabled due to the controversy it has stirred up.
Ben Shapiro, an American columnist, author, conservative political commentator, media personality, attorney, and businessman also spoke out against the docu-series stating that Cleopatra was in fact Greek. Watch below.
As an avid reader of history and a lover of all things related to celebrity gossip, I have to say that this controversy is definitely one to watch. It raises important questions about historical accuracy and representation in media. While I can understand the desire to represent black women in historical narratives, I also understand the frustration of experts who feel that their history is being misrepresented.
It is important to remember that Cleopatra was born in Alexandria in 69 B.C. and was the last ruler of a Macedonian Greek dynasty that began with Alexander the Great’s general Ptolemy. However, the specific race of Cleopatra has long been the subject of historical dispute, with some historians claiming that she had African ancestry.