Netflix docudrama Queen Cleopatra is still stirring controversy and heated debate between producer and audiences, many of whom are describing it as a deliberate falsification of history. However, it seems that the streaming platform is trying to limit the reason behind the unhappiness to color, as opposed to the show’s perceived attempt to falsify history.
Bassem Youssef’s response to “Queen Cleopatra” docudrama
Appearing on Piers Morgan Uncensored, TV host Bassem Youssef shared his thoughts on the Queen Cleopatra conversation, which he posted on his official Instagram page, saying, “This is the debate I had about the new Netflix documentary about Cleopatra. I talked about the systemic falsification of history done by the Afrocentric movement or by Kevin Hart or by Stephen Spielberg. It seems that our culture according to Hollywood is either built by Jewish people or Africans from the South of the Sahara. I talked about these issues while showing great respect for the wonderful culture of West Africa. Something that All Africans should be proud of.”
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Netflix, the world’s most famous and powerful digital streaming network, is reportedly facing heavy losses since it released the trailer of Queen Cleopatra, claiming that it is a new documentary about the Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. However, the anger that swept social media from Egyptian and Greek audiences over the past few days has contributed to IMDb’s response to changing its description from documentary to fictional.
The Afrocentric Movement
A number of Egyptologists joined the convoy of those objecting to the series, accusing Netflix of supporting Afrocentric movement stories. The Movement claims that Egypt was a black nation, and the Egyptian civilization had Black origins. Contrary to established historical facts, the Egyptian people, in turn, categorically reject such claims, describing them as nothing more than a fresh attempt to steal Egyptian history and attribute them to other civilizations.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities and a renowned archaeologist, confirmed that portraying the Ptolemaic queen in the Netflix documentary as a Black woman is an obvious falsification of history. The Black civilization has no connection with the Egyptian civilization, Hawass explained, pointing out that the Black civilization did not rule Egypt except in the twenty-fifth dynasty during the era of the Kingdom of Kush, i.e. at the end of the ancient Egyptian civilization, knowing that the number of the Egyptian civilization dynasties was 30.
In proving that the Egyptian civilization is different from other African civilizations, Hawass pointed out those Egyptian temples contain drawings of Egyptian kings. These sketches are depictions of Egyptian kings striking their enemies. The enemies are depicted as either “African, Nubian, Libyan or Asian, and all of them look very different from the Egyptian kings”.