Netflix’s Queen Cleopatra hit 1% on the Rotten Tomatoes rating website, a historic low for streaming television. Attempts to paint the Egyptians as Sub-Saharan African in recent years tie into a conspiracy theory among leftist activists who believe that Egypt was actually an ancient black empire that historians have sought to maliciously “whitewash.”
In reality, genetic testing shows that ancient Egyptians were most closely related to the peoples of the Near East, particularly from the Levant. This is the Eastern Mediterranean which today includes the countries of Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
Cleopatra was Greek/Macedonian, not sub-Saharan African, and the historical community has no serious debate over this. Multiple images of Cleopatra from the 1st Century AD have been found, including frescos which depict Cleopatra as white.
Why not make a television series about actual black-ruled kingdoms in Africa, such as the kingdom of Kush (neighbours to the Egyptians in today’s Northern Sudan), or the Mali Empire? Probably because these groups have a limited impact on the annals of world history and that’s not enough for woke Hollywood. They want Wakanda. They want Egypt to be their Wakanda, but it simply isn’t so.
Why does it matter if a black actress plays Cleopatra? Because facts matter. While Hollywood has often taken liberties with history in past films and shows, the goal should be to improve that pattern and strive for accuracy instead of going backwards.
And, ultimately it matters because these kinds of woke productions are propaganda-driven. These are not changes to history made with the intention to spice things up for audiences; no, these are changes specifically designed to lie to the public and condition them to believe things that are not true. Black actors are not the problem. Leftist propaganda is the problem.