Netflix announced an alleged documentary film based on the life of Cleopatra, but the project was widely lambasted on social media for bizarrely portraying the historical figure as black.
"From Executive Producer Jada Pinkett Smith comes a new documentary series exploring the lives of prominent and iconic African Queens," reads the description of the movie from the Netflix YouTube account.
Many on social media found the claim ludicrous and ridiculed the movie. Many pointed out that the heritage of Cleopatra was documented by historians who have concluded she was Greek and Macedonian.
"Egypt is diverse in skin colors, there’s no one Egyptian look so you could do a documentary about black Egyptian rulers but Cleopatra was of Greek ancestry and presenting her story as a battle between native Egyptians and the oppressive Roman tyrants is extremely anachronistic," read one popular response.
"So this documentary, as per the trailer, is intentionally trying to stir up a nonexistent controversy over the ethnicity of Cleopatra, who was undoubtedly Greek with Iranian ancestry, to celebrate strong African women rulers," said the host of a podcast about Hellenistic history. "This looks pretty bad all around."
"Look I don’t care—In the spirit of performance I think anybody can play anyone (unless your absolute goal is immersion) but Cleopatra was 100% the Greek product of over 200 years of obsessive disgusting Ptolemaic incest," read another response.
Some pointed out that there were plenty of actually black historical figures that could have been documented in a Netflix documentary.
Other critics mocked Netflix by photoshopping white actors as parody documentaries of famous black figures, like Mark Wahlberg as Muhammed Ali, Ryan Gosling as Martin Luther King, Emma Stone as Simone Biles, and also black bears in a documentary about polar bears.
Jada Pinkett Smith last made headlines when her husband, actor Will Smith, interrupted the Oscar Awards in order to slap comedian Chris Rock in the face after he joked about his wife. Rock later made $40 million by airing his response in a live show on Netflix.
"Queen Cleopatra" will begin streaming on Netflix May 10.
Here's the trailer for the alleged documentary:
Queen Cleopatra | Official Trailer | Netflixwww.youtube.com
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!