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Egypt Responds To Netflix's 'Queen Cleopatra' Controversy, Insists Ruler Was 'Light-Skinned'

Egypt Responds To Netflix's 'Queen Cleopatra' Controversy, Insists Ruler Was 'Light-Skinned'

The controversy over Netflix‘s Queen Cleopatra limited series is getting more dramatic.

Egypt’s Supreme Council Of Antiquities, aka SCA, has spoken out about the ordeal, reacting to the first look of Adele James as the infamous ruler of the country.

If you’re unaware, many scholars, historians, and even fans of the Queen have spoken out over the fact that Adele, who is a Black British actress, was cast as Cleopatra.

For centuries, Cleopatra has always been depicted as lighter-skinned, and historians have argued that she was born of European descent, and confirmed that she was Macedonian-Greek on her father Ptolemy XII‘s side.

Head inside to see what the SCA says about the Queen Cleopatra controversy…

According to Deadline, the SCA released a statement on the dispute.

“The Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities confirms that Queen Cleopatra had light skin and Hellenistic (Greek) features,” it said in a statement, shared to Egypt’s Ministry of Culture and Antiquities website.

SCA Secretary General Mostafa Waziri also spoke about the the “historical falsification” in the statement.

“The appearance of the heroine is a falsification of Egyptian history and a blatant historical fallacy, especially since the film is classified as a documentary film and not a dramatic work, which requires those in charge of its production to investigate accuracy and rely on historical and scientific facts to ensure that history and civilizations are not falsified,” he said.

Waziri went on, declaring that the backlash against the program wasn’t about Adele, or towards people of African origin, but in how Cleopatra would be portrayed.

“The rejection experienced by the film before it comes out is sparked out of defense of the history of Queen ‘Cleopatra VII’, which is an important and authentic part of the ancient history of Egypt, and far from any ethnic racism, with full respect for African civilizations and for our brothers in the African continent that brings us all together.”

Previously, Netflix defended the choice to portray Cleopatra as “mixed heritage”.

“The creative choice to cast an actor of mixed heritage to play Cleopatra is a nod to the centuries-long conversation about the ruler’s race,” the streamer put out. “During the time of her reign, Egypt’s population was multicultural and multiracial. Cleopatra’s race was unlikely to be documented, and the identities of her mother and paternal grandparents weren’t known. Some speculate she was a native Egyptian woman, while others say she was Greek.”

Queen Cleopatra debuts on May 10.

Find out what the director of the project said about the backlash.

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Photos: Netflix
Posted to: Adele James, Netflix, Queen Cleopatra

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