An Egyptian lawyer, Mahmoud al-Semary, has taken legal action against the popular streaming platform, Netflix, after the release of the trailer for the upcoming movie “Queen Cleopatra.” The lawyer filed a case with the Public Prosecutor calling for the closure of the platform, arguing that the film’s depiction of Cleopatra as a black-skinned woman is historically inaccurate and offensive to the Egyptian people. This portrayal has caused controversy and sparked outrage in Egypt.
The Controversy over the “Queen Cleopatra” Trailer
The upcoming movie “Queen Cleopatra” is directed by Denis Villeneuve and stars Gal Gadot as the lead. The film’s portrayal of Cleopatra as a black-skinned woman has caused controversy and sparked outrage in Egypt, where Cleopatra is considered a national icon. Many Egyptians believe that Cleopatra was of Greek origin and had fair skin.
Mahmoud al-Semary argued that the depiction of Cleopatra in the trailer is historically inaccurate and offensive to the Egyptian people. He demanded that all legal measures be taken against those responsible for the documentary and the management of the streaming platform for their participation in “this crime.” According to Egypt Independent, the lawyer alleged that “most of what Netflix platform displays contradicts Islamic and societal values and principles, especially Egyptian ones.”
The Complaint Against Netflix
The complaint submitted against Netflix alleged that the documentary promotes Afrocentrism that is widely spread on social media. This movement has slogans and writings aimed at distorting and obliterating the Egyptian identity. In the complaint, al-Semary addressed the Public Prosecution, saying, “In order to preserve the Egyptian national and cultural identity among Egyptians all over the world… we ask and seek you to take the necessary legal measures against this platform.” He demanded stopping broadcasts showing all works aimed at obliterating and distorting the Egyptian identity, through films aimed at falsifying and distorting history in Egypt.
The Implications of the Case
The case filed by Mahmoud al-Semary could have far-reaching implications for Netflix and other streaming platforms. It highlights the tension between artistic expression and cultural sensitivity. While filmmakers have the right to interpret historical figures as they see fit, they should also be mindful of the cultural and historical significance of those figures.
The controversy over “Queen Cleopatra” also raises important questions about representation in film and television. Should filmmakers be held accountable for the accuracy of their depictions of historical figures? How should filmmakers navigate the complex issues of race and ethnicity when portraying historical figures?
The case filed by Mahmoud al-Semary against Netflix over the “Queen Cleopatra” trailer highlights the tension between artistic expression and cultural sensitivity. It raises important questions about representation in film and television and the accuracy of depictions of historical figures. This case could have far-reaching implications for Netflix and other streaming platforms, as it challenges the way filmmakers navigate complex issues of race and ethnicity in their work.