The controversy over Netflix’s new Black-led documentary about Cleopatra is raging as an Egyptian broadcaster vows to create its own premium series to compete with it.
Since the first trailer for Queen Cleopatra, executive produced and narrated by Jada Pinkett Smith, arrived last month, there was an uproar in Egypt over casting. Netflix was forced to disable comments on the trailer when they turned hostile and sometimes racist.
The controversy stems from the controversial nature of Cleopatra’s racial identity in real life. IN Queen Cleopatraruler of Egypt played by black British actor Adele James.
After the trailer was released last month, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities released a statement saying that Cleopatra had “white skin and Greek features”.
“The reliefs and statues of Queen Cleopatra are the clearest evidence,” the ministry statement said.
Now, Al Wathaeqya channel – a subsidiary of Egypt’s state-owned United Media Services – has announced the production of its own premium documentary about Cleopatra, which it announced in a statement. based on the “highest level” of research. and accuracy, Diversity report.
independence Have reached out to Netflix for comment.
Cleopatra was born in the Egyptian city of Alexandria in 69 BC, succeeded her father Ptolemy XII in 51 BC and ruled until his death in 30 BC.
Much of her lineage, including her mother’s race, remains unknown, and as such, the exact texture of her hair and skin remains controversial.
by Queen Cleopatra Director Tina Gharavi has previously been open about the backlash surrounding casting for the documentary.
“Why shouldn’t Cleopatra be a melancholy sister?” Gharavi wrote. “And why do some people need Cleopatra to be white? Her closeness to white skin seems to be of value to her, and to some Egyptians, that seems to really matter.
“After many handshakes and countless auditions, we found in Adele James an actor who could convey not only Cleopatra’s beauty but also her strength. What historians can confirm is that it is more likely that Cleopatra looked like Adele than Elizabeth Taylor once did,” she added.
In an interview with Netflix Hill website, Pinkett Smith said: “We don’t often see or hear stories about the Black Queen and that’s really important to me, to my daughter, and just to her community. I probably know those stories because there’s tons of that stuff.”
Queen Cleopatra Now available on Netflix.