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Egyptian Broadcaster Responds to Netflix with Own ‘Black Cleopatra’

Egyptian reacts Black Cleopatra casting in Netflix ‘African Queens.’

The Netflix original created by Jada Pinkett Smith, in which British actress Adele James, of mixed ancestry, portrays the first-century Egyptian monarch as an empress with African roots, has caused controversy in Egypt.

Local professors and others have been asserting that Cleopatra, who was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and who belonged to a Greek-speaking dynasty, was of European heritage and not Black ever since the teaser for the film had released.

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Al Wathaeqya channel has announced the start of production on a high-end documentary about the true story of Queen Cleopatra.

The channel claims in a statement that the film is based on the “utmost levels” of study and reliability.

The official body in charge of Egypt’s legacy, the Supreme Council of Antiquities, has expressed dissatisfaction on Twitter.

The article also states that “statues of Queen Cleopatra confirm that she had Classic (Greek) features, distinguished by light complexion, a long nose, and small lips.”

Why do certain individuals insist that Cleopatra be a white woman? In an opinion article published last month in Variety online, the show’s director, Tina Gharavi, defended the casting.

Maybe it’s not just that I directed a series in which Cleopatra appears as Black; perhaps it’s also because I asked Egyptians to identify like Africans, and they get frustrated at me for that.

Multiple times, Netflix has declined to comment.

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