According to Variety, the upcoming Netflix docu-drama “Queen Cleopatra,” in which mixed-race actress Adele James plays the first-century Egyptian ruler as a queen with African roots, is causing uproar in Egypt.
Egyptian academics say that Queen Cleopatra was not black, even though she was born in the Egyptian city of Alexandria in 69 BCE and was part of a Greek-speaking dynasty.
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‘Variety’ says that an Egyptian lawyer has filed a complaint asking that legal steps be taken to block Netflix in Egypt so that the docu-drama can’t be shown. The lawyer says that the docu-drama, which comes out on May 10, breaks the country’s laws about media.
In February, Netflix’s promotional website Tudum quoted Jada Pinkett Smith, the show’s executive producer, as saying that the choice to cast Adele James as Cleopatra was “a nod to the centuries-long conversation about the ruler’s race.” She said that the queen’s heritage has been the subject of academic debate.
Scholars are sure that Cleopatra’s father, Ptolemy XII, was of Macedonian and Greek descent. But because no one knows where her mother came from, some historians say it’s possible that the Egyptian ruler’s mother was African and that she might have had a mix of African and Egyptian genes, as per Variety
The trailer for “Queen Cleopatra” came out last week, which caused a stir in Egypt.
Zahi Hawass, a well-known Egyptologist, was quoted in the newspaper “al-Masry al-Youm” as strongly denying that Cleopatra was of mixed race.
This is completely fake. Cleopatra was Greek, meaning that she was light-skinned, not Black,
Watch the trailer below:
Adele James, on the other hand, has used Twitter to tell her critics:
If you don’t like the casting, don’t watch the show.