BREAKING NEWS: Netflix’s Woke Adaptation “Queen Cleopatra” Tanks In Ratings, Gets 2% Average Audience Score

Credit: Netflix

Netflix’s new series about historic figures unsurprisingly tanked with viewers.

The series debuted on May 10 and ranks as #6 in Netflix’s Top 10 list. It has an average audience score of 2% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average critic score of 11%.

The show didn’t have much better reviews on IMDBm where it has a 1.1 out of 10 rating. At the time of publication, 94.2% (around 37,000) of the approximately 39,000 ratings the show received gave it the lowest possible review. 

Forbes noted, “Fans usually rate things higher than critics, even bad shows, and the point being, a 1% audience score seems borderline mathematically impossible, even with the controversy the film has attracted.”

“Queen Cleopatra” is played by Adele James, but people are not happy with the ahistorical framing the show chose to pursue.

The Blaze reported:

The Blaze previously reported that after the trailer for the show was released, the project was widely lambasted on social media for portraying the historical figure as black. Cleopatra was of Macedonian Greek descent. 

“From Executive Producer Jada Pinkett Smith comes a new documentary series exploring the lives of prominent and iconic African Queens,” reads the description of the movie from the Netflix YouTube account.

A voiceover in the trailer says, “I remember my grandmother saying to me, ‘I don’t care what they tell you in school. Cleopatra was black.'”

The casting decision was widely criticized, especially in light of the claim that the series would be a documentary — and therefore correspond in some way with historical reality.

One popular response to the announcement read, “Egypt is diverse in skin colors, there’s no one Egyptian look so you could do a documentary about black Egyptian rulers but Cleopatra was of Greek ancestry and presenting her story as a battle between native Egyptians and the oppressive Roman tyrants is extremely anachronistic.”

The BBC reported that Zahi Hawass, a prominent Egyptologist, and former antiquities minister, spoke out against the show. He said, “This is completely fake. Cleopatra was Greek, meaning that she was light-skinned, not black.”

“Netflix is trying to provoke confusion by spreading false and deceptive facts that the origin of the Egyptian civilisation is black,” added Hawass. He indicated that the only known black rulers of Egypt were the Kushite kings of the 26th Dynasty (747-656 B.C.).

Other people accused Netflix of cultural appropriation and historical revisionism.

Some people argued that anyone could play the role. Jada Pinkett Smith, an executive producer and narrator on the project, said of the casting decision, “We don’t often get to see or hear stories about black queens, and that was really important for me.”

Tina Gharvi, the director of the show, made it clear ahead of time that her intentions were, in fact, ideological.

Gharvi wrote in Variety, “Was her skin really that white? With this new production, could I find the answers about Cleopatra’s heritage and release her from the stranglehold that Hollywood had placed on her image?”

The universally panned show’s creator added, “Doing the research, I realized what a political act it would be to see Cleopatra portrayed by a Black actress. … Why shouldn’t Cleopatra be a melanated sister? And why do some people need Cleopatra to be white? Her proximity to whiteness seems to give her value, and for some Egyptians it seems to really matter.”

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