The director of the upcoming documentary sequence “Queen Cleopatra” dismissed criticisms of “blackwashing” over her option to solid a Black actress because the well-known Egyptian queen.
Tina Gharavi penned a Saturday column for Selection the place she admitted that having Adele James play Cleopatra is a “political act” to proper the wrongs of White actress Elizabeth Taylor’s portrayal of the final Egyptian queen in a 1963 movie.
“Why shouldn’t Cleopatra be a melanated sister? And why do some individuals want Cleopatra to be white? Her proximity to whiteness appears to provide her worth, and for some Egyptians it appears to essentially matter,” Ms. Gharavi wrote.
Egyptian lawyer Mahmoud al-Semary filed a lawsuit in opposition to Netflix final week that claimed the newest installment of Jada Pinkett Smith’s “African Queens” venture was “erasing the Egyptian id,” in keeping with the British Broadcasting Company.
Main Egyptologist Zahi Hawass advised Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm individually that “Cleopatra was Greek, which means that she was light-skinned, not black.”
Ms. Gharavi shot again on the individuals talking up about her choice to solid Ms. James within the main position, but they have been silent when HBO’s sequence “Rome” depicted her as a “sleazy, dissipated drug addict.”
“Maybe, it’s not simply that I’ve directed a sequence that portrays Cleopatra as Black, however that I’ve requested Egyptians to see themselves as Africans, and they’re livid at me for that. I’m okay with this,” the director wrote in Selection.
Ms. Gharavi ends the column by saying that it’s nonetheless not identified what Cleopatra’s pores and skin coloration was, however that “we have to have a dialog with ourselves about our colorism, and the internalized white supremacy that Hollywood has indoctrinated us with.”
“It’s virtually as if we don’t notice that misogynoir nonetheless has an impact on us right now,” Ms. Gharavi wrote. “We have to liberate our imaginations, and boldly create a world wherein we are able to discover our historic figures with out fearing the complexity that comes with their depiction. I’m proud to face with ‘Queen Cleopatra’ — a re-imagined Cleopatra — and with the workforce that made this.”