Netflix has faced criticism online and thousands of dislikes, resulting in the platform disabling comments for the new Trailer of its upcoming documentary series, “Queen Cleopatra.”
The show’s official synopsis promises to explore the lives of some of the most prominent and iconic African queens, including Cleopatra, whom it describes as “the world’s most famous, powerful, and misunderstood woman.”
The documentary will utilize reenactments and expert interviews to offer a fresh perspective on the life of the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty, who fought fiercely to protect her throne, family, and legacy. The series stars Adele James, Craig Russell, and Jada Pinkett Smith, who also serves as an executive producer.
Cleopatra’s origins are widely believed to be of Macedonian Greek descent. Her family, the Ptolemaic dynasty, ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt for over 300 years, despite not being ethnically Egyptian.
However, the depiction of Cleopatra as Black in the reenactment scenes has led to accusations of “Blackwashing” from many social media users. The Trailer has received 247000 dislikes on Youtube, with only 22000 likes.
Despite the backlash, the show’s official synopsis notes that “Cleopatra’s heritage has been the subject of much academic debate, which Hollywood has often ignored. Now, our series reassesses this fascinating part of her story.”
The controversy has highlighted the tension between historical accuracy and modern-day sensitivities surrounding representation and race. Some believe that historical accuracy should be preserved, while others argue that diversity and inclusivity in media representation have value.
The debate surrounding the show’s representation of Cleopatra is ongoing, and the documentary will be available to stream on Netflix from May 10.