Netflix is in hot water for ‘not representing’ Egypt’s Cleopatra appropriately in the new miniseries Queen Cleopatra, directed by Jada-Pinkett Smith.
Netflix’s Controversy Over Cleopatra’s Skin Color
Netflix’s upcoming historical documentary miniseries, Queen Cleopatra, has drawn criticism from Egyptians with former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass criticizing the series for providing inaccurate information about ancient Egypt.
“Cleopatra was not black; as a Greek, she was similar to the queens and princesses of Macedonia. During the 25th dynasty, the Kingdom of Kush ruled Egypt and those were Kushite pharaohs, but they had nothing to do with ancient Egyptian civilization,” Hawas stated on Sunday on his Facebook page.
Egypt Sues Netflix
Hours after the official trailer “Queen Cleopatra” was released last week, the new Netflix miniseries sparked a wave of controversy in Egypt.
An Egyptian lawyer has filed a lawsuit against streaming giant Netflix for depicting Pharoh Cleopatra as a Black woman in a new documentary.
Lawyer Mahmoud al-Semary filed the lawsuit with a public prosecutor with the intention of having Netflix banned in Egypt for what he claimed was a distortion of history.
“Most of what the Netflix platform displays contradicts Islamic and societal values and principles, especially Egyptian ones,” the complaint said.
It accused Netflix of promoting “Afrocentrism,” which it alleged would erase Egyptian identity.
“In order to preserve the Egyptian national and cultural identity among Egyptians all over the world and take pride in it, and to consolidate the spirit of belonging to the homeland, and accordingly we ask and seek you to take the necessary legal measures against this platform,” the complaint read.
Petition Removed by Change.org
A petition to stop the docuseries of Queen Cleopatra has been removed by the organization because it “violated community guidelines.”
Information about the petition:
The petition to cancel the new documentary was started by Maha Shehata and Aikk Yasser for “falsifying history”. According to the petition’s founders, it was created by Egyptians who felt that Egyptian history was being misrepresented.
“Afrocentrism is a pseudoscience that is pushing a group’s agenda to claim Egypt’s history and rob the actual Egyptians of it. By using false articles and zero evidence, they are still attempting to falsify history,” read the petition’s opening description.
“Cleopatra was born in Alexandria, Egypt in the Ptolemaic dynasty to Greek descent. She was NOT black. This is in no way against black people, and is simply a wake up call to preserve the history and the integrity of the Egyptians and the Greeks.”
“The show is clearly done to complement the Afrocentric movement, which claims to be the owner of the ancient Egyptian civilization, and to consolidate what the movement promotes. Egypt was never black and it was never white, Egypt is just Egypt. There are many great African/black civilizations, but Egypt was/is NOT one of them. Sign the petition to stop the falsification of history!” argue the authors of the petition.
It wasn’t the first time Netflix added in extra ‘spice’ to their movies.
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