Gal Gadot starring as Cleopatra sparks controversy: In a new historical drama based on her childhood, “Wonder Woman 1984,” actress Gal Gadot responded to controversy about her intentions to play the part of the famed Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.
Critics and social media users accused filmmaker Patty Jenkins of’ whitewashing’ for casting an Israeli actress instead of an Arab or African talent for the part of Cleopatra, who was of Greek and Macedonian origin, after Gadot announced plans to play Cleopatra.
“The star responded in an interview with BBC Arabia, saying: “First of all, if you want to be true to the truth, then Cleopatra was Macedonian.
We were searching for an actress from Macedonia who could suit Cleopatra. She wasn’t there, and Cleopatra was really passionate about me,’ she explained. “People are people, and I want to celebrate Cleopatra’s legacy with me and honor this incredible historical icon that I admire so much.”
Related: January 2021 Streaming Recommendations: Most Anticipated Titles — Times Read
Not against such productions was Gadot. She said, “You know, anyone can make a movie like this… I’m very passionate about the fact that I’m going to make my own.”
On social media, the news of the casting proved to be controversial, with some people voicing their dissatisfaction.
“In the long history of whitewashing and the legacy of colonial Egyptology, the casting of Gal Gadot is just another stroke that strives to sever all connections between Egyptians (widely defined) and their land’s history,” one Twitter user said.
This pop culture that constantly exoticizes Ancient Egypt has a central argument, which is that modern Egyptians have no legitimate claims to Ancient Egyptian culture, symbols, traditions, religions, or history.— آلاء مراد (@zarqawiyyah) October 11, 2020
Also, modern Egypt was represented as a chaotic lawless desert full of native scoundrels who hanged people for funsies & the occasional generous bedouin. The only sources of “civilization” were of course British institutions. pic.twitter.com/nJzTV7x6BT— آلاء مراد (@zarqawiyyah) October 11, 2020
Others on social media, meanwhile, assume that the casting of Gadot is acceptable.
One user on Twitter wrote, “I’m going to say this once and I’m not going to say it again, Cleopatra was Greek.” Yeah, she was an Egyptian queen, but with Persian and Syrian ancestry, she was Greek. The individuals who respond negatively to this are uneducated and uninformed. This position is deserved by Gal Gadot.’
I’m going to say this once and I’m not going to say it again, Cleopatra was Greek.— The Moonlight Warrior 🌙 (@BlackMajikMan90) October 11, 2020
Yes, she was in Egyptian ruler but she was Greek with Persian and Syrian ancestry. The people who are reacting negatively that to this are uneducated and uninformed.
Gal Gadot deserves this role. pic.twitter.com/7h1oYu9ClX
This is not the first time the silver screen has produced a film about Cleopatra. The late Elizabeth Taylor played the titular role back in 1963, where she appeared opposite the late Richard Burton.
Gal Gadot-Varsano is an actress, producer, and model from Israel. She was crowned Miss Israel in 2004 at the age of 18. She then worked as a soldier for two years in the Israel Defense Forces, after which she started studying at IDC Herzliya College while developing her career in modeling and acting.
Time magazine called Gadot one of the 100 most influential individuals in the world in 2018, and she was ranked among the highest-paid actresses in the world. In October 2020, Gadot was ranked number three on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s highest-paid actors, citing her $20 million for her appearance in the Netflix film Red Note. She was dubbed in the media as “female superstar”.
|Upcoming Films||Red Notice, Zack Snyder’s Justice League|