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Netflix’s Cleopatra Falls Flat

Netflix’s ‘documentary’ Cleopatra has gone from re-envisioning history to making it, becoming one of the worst-rated shows of all time. The show has received a 1% audience rating and a 15% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Ever since the show was announced, many critics have pointed out that the supposed documentary gives a false perspective of history, despite the show being labeled as educational. Egyptians were outraged that their culture and history were being sidelined in favor of an Africa-centric envisioning of Egyptian history. Many in the country, although respecting the achievements of other African cultures, say that it is almost irrefutable that Cleopatra, one of Egypt’s most famous queens of Greek descent, was far removed from Netflix’s interpretation of her character. An Egyptian lawyer has since filed a lawsuit against the show, seeking to shut down the Netflix platform in the country. 

EGYPT INDEPENDENT: Netflix’s ‘Queen Cleopatra’ gets lowest audience score of any show in TV history: Forbes

By The Egypt Independent; May 16, 2023

Netflix’s “Queen Cleopatra” documentary has received the worst audience rating ever in TV show history on Rotten Tomatoes, according to a Forbes report.

The series got a one percent audience approval rate due to the great turnout of Egyptians to express their anger at its falsification of history, Forbes reported.

The Netflix film about the story of Cleopatra made her appear dark-skinned as if her origins were African and not Macedonian.

Hawass answers back protesters

Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass said that during one of his lectures in Los Angeles he was protested by people objecting to his refusal to consider Cleopatra being black.

They carried banners with slogans against him, he said, adding that they had fallen for false information.

During a phone interview with “Hadith al-Qahira” (Cairo Talk) talk show on the “al-Qahira wal Nas” (Cairo and the People) channel, Hawass stressed “We are not against blacks, and if the same situation happened with the continent of Asia, I would object to them.”

He emphasized that Cleopatra was burgundy in color, and not dark-skinned, and this a fallacy bought into by African Americans.

Hawass pointed out that “our film, which we released about Cleopatra, also received international attention, and this film responded strongly to the whole world.”

‘They are stealing my culture’!

Egyptian satirist and journalist Bassem Youssef slammed Netflix’s “Queen Cleopatra”, calling it a falsification of history after it released the special trailer for the documentary series which revolves around the Queen Cleopatra VII, the last

Youssef Tweeted: “People from West Africa and other nationalities agree with the point of view that I put forward. It is very important when we defend our point of view or our history that we do this with politeness and respect for other civilizations.”

“It is never true that while we defend our history we insult or underestimate other ethnicities or civilizations, that is why I insisted that I speak with respect about the civilizations of West Africa, because these people are not our enemies and they will respect us when we respect their history.”

One of Netflix’s most disliked trailers

The “Cleopatra” documentary trailer officially has become one of Netflix’s most disliked trailers, on YouTube, with more than 250,000 dislikes, which forced Netflix to close comments on the trailer, in an attempt to control the accusations brought against it of falsifying history, and preventing audience from expressing their opinions, according to the Mirror newspaper’s website.

Photo: Netflix

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