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Cleopatra Blacklash: Why Aren’t Hollywood’s Diversity Casting Stunts More Diverse?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File

In the latest example of the left rewriting history, “Cleopatra was black.” At least that’s how things are looking.

In its upcoming docudrama “Queen Cleopatra, ” Netflix has cast a black woman in the title role of the most famous woman from ancient history – despite the irrefutable fact that Cleopatra, the Greek scion of Alexander the Great’s empire, was at best just a little brown.


This is the latest in a long line of woke entertainment decisions to blackwash casting choices. While an eyeroll suffices for fictional characters – Hermione Granger, half the characters in Sandman, Amazon’s Rings of Power show no one watched –  it feels a little different with historical figures. The BBC blackwashed Anne Boleyn a couple years ago.

Given the Orwellian implications of controlling the future by controlling the past, rewriting history to serve a political agenda feels less like pandering and more like an act of aggression. 

Liberal, corporate media are delighted to attack overly sensitive conservative folks like us when we object, antagonizing us with doublespeak like Cleopatra was a queen with African roots! to obscure historical fact. (For some reason, they never call Elon Musk a billionaire with African roots.) But this time Netflix has pissed off an entire nation – of brown people. 

Egyptians are outraged, with one lawyer now seeking to get the entire platform banned in his country. 

If successful, that would mean 110 million people who can’t subscribe to the streaming service that lost its relevance the day it lost “The Office.” While Netflix hasn’t quite approached Disney-level corporate suicide, the company can’t afford to keep sabotaging its own business model. With no “pandemic” to keep everyone locked indoors, Netflix stock is down to less than half its value in 2021. 

Now, there was no such response from Egyptians or the rest of us a few years ago when Gal Gadot was announced for a Cleopatra biopic. Because she may not have looked exactly like Elizabeth Taylor, casting someone from a country between Greece and Egypt seemed ideal.  


So why didn’t Netflix just call an Israeli modeling agency and ask for a cheaper version of Gadot? Or track down a perfect half-Greek, half-Egyptian actress? If the goal is more racial variety in our entertainment, why isn’t there more diversity in diversity casting nowadays? 

No one complained when Warner Bros. cast Jason Momoa as Aquaman, because making him a big, charming Polynesian was brilliant. Everyone loved Puerto Rican Lin Manuel Miranda’s take on fellow Caribbean Islander Alexander Hamilton even though they don’t “look like” each other. The old Lord of the Rings cartoon made Aragorn look like an American Indian – because the director figured Aragorn was a good outdoorsman and so were Indians. 

(But he was still voiced by a white Englishman so BAM! canceled.) 

That kind of creativity is long-since gone though. If Netflix had made a reasonable casting choice, we wouldn’t be talking about this. Now there’s buzz! Now you have to watch our show to stand up against racism!

But on a deeper level, it’s because of the false religion of intersectionalism, which has created a reverse caste system based on oppression: real, historical, or imagined. Black people have been put at the top of that caste system – sort of a racist version of the Biblical “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”

A woman then gets to be double-oppressed, although somehow this preferential treatment doesn’t apply to Condoleezza Rice, Candace Owens, my former congresswoman Mia Love, Diamond (RIP) and Silk, and Alveda King


See, black women vote for Democrats about 90 percent of the time, regardless of how terribly Democrats have run their communities for the last 60 years, ruined their schools, destroyed black men with welfare and mass migration, opened the door to a new crime wave, and so on. Progressives’ evil plan has been to ruin their lives, so they can pretend to save them. 

And while we’re distracted talking about this or transgender bathrooms, progressives are ruining everyone else’s lives with Biden-flation, high gas prices, crashed train after crashed train, and the inevitability of losing to China. Destroy the middle class and we’ll fall in line – only those of us who won’t will get sent to the gulags. 

So let it be written: Cleopatra wasn’t black. Some of her slaves probably were though. Wonder if Netflix will talk about that. 

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