Gal Gadot Defends Cleopatra Role Amid Backlash Over Hollywood ‘Whitewashing’

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.

Gal Gadot • Cleopatra • Patty Jenkins • Wonder Woman 1984

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.

Originally posted by Gal Gadot’s Instagram @gal_gadot

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.”

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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.

Full Twitter Thread

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.’

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 profile

Gal Gadot

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”.

Age35 years
Height5′ 10″
HusbandYaron Varsano 
Upcoming FilmsRed Notice, Zack Snyder’s Justice League

—Times Read

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