Cleopatra’s Ethnicity: A Tumultuous Tale of Conflict and Contentious Casting

The Netflix-Egypt Conundrum: A Modern Day Clash of Cultures

In the vortex of a stormy dispute, Egypt confronts Netflix regarding the forthcoming series, “Queen Cleopatra.” Adele James, a Black actress, assumes the starring role, inciting impassioned objections. Egypt’s scholars vociferously assert Cleopatra’s Greek heritage and light-skinned complexion, challenging the streaming colossus’s choice. Unswayed, Netflix maintains the legitimacy of the ongoing race debate, fanning the flames of fury and igniting calls for cancellation.

A Cry for Accuracy in Historical Representation

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities decries the series, demanding fidelity to history. Invoking ancient coins and statues, the ministry proclaims Cleopatra’s light-skinned portrayal aligns with her Macedonian Greek roots. Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Supreme Council of Antiquities’ secretary-general, lambasts this depiction as historical distortion, championing respect for African civilizations.

Cleopatra: A Luminous Legacy and the Weight of Controversy

Screen depictions of historical figures often incite contention, but Egypt’s rich past heightens the stakes. Cleopatra VII, the final Egyptian ruler (51-30 BC), descended from Ptolemy I Soter, the Greek-speaking Ptolemaic Kingdom’s founder. The nation’s ancient history interweaves with its modern identity and thriving tourism industry.

Of Roman Writers and the Quest for Ancestral Truth

Roman chroniclers Plutarch and Cassius Dio painted Cleopatra as Macedonian and light-skinned. Some scholars posit her potential quarter-Egyptian lineage. Dr. Samia Al-Mirghani, former antiquities research director, cites anthropological studies and DNA tests, recognizing ancient Egypt’s diverse inhabitants.

Zahi Hawass: Debunking Cleopatra’s Black African Connection

Acclaimed archaeologist Zahi Hawass negates Cleopatra’s alleged Black heritage, citing absent evidence. He acknowledges the distinct Black African Kingdom of the Kush but stresses its disconnect from Pharaonic civilization.

Public Outcry, Petitions, and the Power of the People

A swirling maelstrom of public reaction ensues, with a petition gathering 100,000 signatures before vanishing. As of now, Netflix and Nutopia, the series’ production company, remain silent. Egyptian lawmaker Saboura al-Sayyed reiterates her demand for a Netflix ban.

Previous Casting Controversies and Aiming for Change

Gal Gadot’s casting as Cleopatra previously ignited “whitewashing” accusations. Netflix series director Tina Gharani asserts her Black casting choice is a political statement challenging conventional views on Cleopatra’s race, though it sparks an online hate campaign.

Adele James: Facing the Firestorm with Fortitude

Adele James, Cleopatra’s actress, confronts critics on Twitter, sharing screenshots of vitriolic comments and racial slurs. Her message: those who disagree should simply abstain from watching.