The upcoming Netflix docudrama, “Queen Cleopatra,” set to release on May 10, has stirred up controversy in Egypt due to the casting of Adele James, a British actor of mixed heritage, as Queen Cleopatra.
Some Egyptian academics argue that Cleopatra, who was born in Alexandria in 69 BC, was not Black but rather of Macedonian-Greek heritage on her father’s side, and they have raised objections to the casting decision.
Despite the fact that some scholars speculate that Cleopatra’s mother may have been of African descent, Zahi Hawass, a prominent Egyptologist, has claimed that Cleopatra was of Greek descent and had light skin, which would preclude her from being Black.
In response to the criticism, Aden James has taken to Twitter, urging detractors to avoid watching the show if they disagree with the casting choice.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian lawyer has reportedly filed a complaint calling for legal action against Netflix for alleged violations of Egypt’s media laws.
Netflix has deactivated the comment section on YouTube, where they shared the trailer 9 days ago.
Jada Pinkett Smith, who previously produced the documentary “Queen Njinga,” is the executive producer of “Queen Cleopatra.” However, her previous work faced criticism for allegedly not presenting an accurate portrayal of ‘Queen Njinga’s’ history.