Adele James, star of Netflix’s Queen Cleopatra, responds to backlash over her casting within the position of the titular monarch. Queen Cleopatra is a Netflix docudrama that premiered on Might 10, following the Egyptian queen over her 21-year rule from 51 BC to 30 BC. The sequence was accused of “Blackwashing” by casting a Black girl as Cleopatra, with an Egyptian governmental company, the Supreme Council Of Antiquities (SCA), even going as far as to denounce the casting as being “a blatant historic fallacy.”

In an interview with The Wayne Ayers Podcast, James responds to the Blackwashing claims, saying that Queen Cleopatra has been totally researched, and that Cleopatra’s race continues to be an enormous query amongst specialists. James additionally condemns the present’s backlash, saying that Blackwashing is not an actual concern, and that individuals usually really feel the necessity to separate Egypt as a rustic from the remainder of the African continent. Learn James’ full response under:

Properly, firstly, Blackwashing is not a factor, is it? So there’s that. I simply suppose, you understand, it is actually unhappy to me the extent to which individuals need to – and it is not simply Egyptians, and it is not all Egyptians – however folks need to colonize and take away… and it is simply upsetting, I discover it unhappy that persons are both so self-loathing or so threatened by Blackness that they really feel the necessity to try this, to separate Egypt from the remainder of the continent. You recognize, I feel it is much more vital that with telling this story the way in which that we’re as a result of truly, we do not know, it is a actually large query mark, was she combined race, was she not? She wasn’t Black, we all know that, however she might need been half Black, completely. That is completely throughout the realm of chance based mostly on the educational analysis. So, you understand, if folks do not need to have interaction with that, that analysis, that professional analysis, that is not likely a me downside, that is sort of a them downside.

Queen Cleopatra’s Backlash Defined

Queen Cleopatra actor Adele James on her Regal Throne

James’ casting in Queen Cleopatra has been defended by director Tina Gharavi, who stated that as a result of Cleopatra’s race is not definitively identified, James was solid so as to painting Cleopatra’s magnificence and power. Gharavi cited the HBO sequence Rome, which depicted Cleopatra as a “sleazy, dissipated drug addict,” saying that there wasn’t a backlash in opposition to that portrayal, however when Queen Cleopatra solid a Black girl, there was instantly large controversy.

In the meantime, the SCA has stated that their criticism of the present has nothing to do with “ethnic racism,” however relatively correct depictions of vital figures in Egypt’s historical past. The SCA said that Cleopatra VII “had mild pores and skin and Hellenistic (Greek) options,” with a “drawn nostril and skinny lips.” They declare that Queen Cleopatra‘s casting of James is completely inaccurate, and that the Netflix present is falsifying Egyptian historical past.

Whereas a petition was signed by over ten thousand folks to cancel Queen Cleopatra, Netflix defended the sequence, citing many specialists on Egyptian historical past who’ve claimed the historic determine was mixed-race. The Netflix sequence is not the primary depiction of Cleopatra to garner backlash, as an upcoming Gal Gadot-led biopic has conversely been accused of whitewashing. With the upcoming Cleopatra movie already drawing consideration, the backlash in opposition to Queen Cleopatra will not be the final that audiences hear about casting the Egyptian queen.

Supply: The Wayne Ayers Podcast

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