Netflix, a popular streaming service, has recently been criticized for a new program about Cleopatra, a famous Egyptian queen. A group of historians has filed a lawsuit against the streaming company. They say that the documentary gets historical facts wrong and gives false information.
The people suing say that the documentary “Cleopatra: Mother, Mistress, Murderer, Queen” not only misrepresents Cleopatra but could also hurt how people see her and her legacy. As the lawsuit goes on, let’s take a closer look at the controversy surrounding this highly anticipated documentary and how it might affect the streaming business.
Netflix Sued Over Cleopatra Documentary
Netflix has been sued by Egyptian attorney Mahmoud al-Semary for portraying Cleopatra as a Black lady in a recent documentary. Following the publication of the Queen Cleopatra movie trailer, which you can view here, al-Semary filed a case with the Public Prosecutor to shut down the streaming service in Egypt.
According to Egypt Independent, the lawyer has urged that individuals in charge of the documentary’s production face harsh legal consequences. The argument makes the assertion that the documentary falsifies and misrepresents Egyptian history in order to advance Afrocentrism.
Al-Semary referred to the new portrayal of the historical person as a “crime” and accused Netflix’s management team of being responsible for the project’s existence. In addition, he urged that the procedure be thoroughly investigated and that Netflix be completely stopped in Egypt.
In support of the complaint made against Netflix, it was claimed that “most of what Netflix platform displays do not conform to Islamic and societal values and principles, especially Egyptian ones.” “There must be pride in the makings of such work,” it continued, “in order to preserve the Egyptian national and cultural identity among Egyptians throughout the world.”
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Additionally charged with “forgery” are the platform management and documentary creators. Former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass claimed that the documentary was “falsifying facts” and added, “This is entirely bogus. Because she was Greek, Cleopatra was blonde rather than black. The final monarch of the Ptolemaic dynasty, Queen Cleopatra, was born in Alexandria in 69 BC and p@ssed away there in 30 BC.
It was revealed in 2020 that Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot would play Cleopatra in a brand-new biopic helmed by Patty Jenkins. The actress later responded to fan complaints of “whitewashing” by stating an actress from the Middle East or Africa should take on the part of the Egyptian queen. Gadot told BBC Arabic’s Sam Asi, “First of all, if you want to be faithful to the facts, Cleopatra was Macedonian.
The ideal Macedonian actress to play Cleopatra was sought after. I was quite passionate about Cleopatra even if she wasn’t present. I have friends from all over the world, whether they are Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Atheists, Buddhists, or, of course, Jews, she continued. People are people, and together we want to honor this incredible historical icon—Cleopatra—and celebrate her legacy.