In the latest proof that denial is not just a river in Egypt, Change.org has removed a campaign calling on Netflix to cancel their recently announced Queen Cleopatra docuseries due to its blatant historical inaccuracy on the grounds that it supposedly violated the public petition platform’s community guidelines.
RELATED: Netflix’s Upcoming ‘Queen Cleopatra’ Docuseries To Race-Swap Historical Egyptian Ruler: “Cleopatra Is A Queen Who Many Know About, But Not In Her Truth”
The second entry in producer Jada Pinkett-Smith’s African Queen series, Queen Cleopatra will set out to tell the story of “Queen Cleopatra, the world’s most famous, powerful, and misunderstood woman — a daring queen whose beauty and romances came to overshadow her real asset: her intellect.”
“Cleopatra’s heritage has been the subject of much academic debate, which has often been ignored by Hollywood,” reads the series’ official synopsis. “Now our series re-assesses this fascinating part of her story.”
In a statement provided to the media in promotion of the series, Pinkett-Smith argued, “We don’t often get to see or hear stories about Black queens, and that was really important for me, as well as for my daughter, and just for my community to be able to know those stories because there are tons of them!”
“Cleopatra is a queen who many know about, but not in her truth,” she added. “She’s been displayed as overtly sexual, excessive, and corrupt, yet she was a strategist, an intellect, a commanding force of nature, who fought to protect her kingdom…and her heritage is highly debated. This season will dive deeper into her history and re-assesses this fascinating part of her story.”
However, as historical records prove, Cleopatra was not black but rather Macedonian Greek, having inherited both her heritage and her throne as the queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt through her blood relation to the founder of the Ptoelmic Empire, Ptolemy I Soter.
This mistaken belief that the ancient ruler was black appears is nothing more than a wishful thinking put forth by some contemporary scholars based solely on the theory that, because the exact identity of Cleopatra’s mother has been lost to the sands of time, there exists a possibility that she could have been a native African.
(Notably, based on records of the time, many experts on the topic have come to speculate that Cleopatra VII’s mother was Cleopatra V, the only confirmed wife of Cleopatra VII’s father, Ptolemy XII. And while Cleopatra V’s exact parentage remains unknown, it is believed that she may have been yet another descendant of the Ptolemy family line, meaning Cleopatra VII would have received her Greek heritage from both of her parents.)
RELATED: Gal Gadot Faces Waves Of Racist Harassment For Her Casting As Cleopatra In Upcoming Film
Fed up with this historical revisionism, two individuals boasting actual Egyptian heritage took to Change.org following the series’ announcement to call on Netflix to cancel Queen Cleopatra due to its “falsifying history“.
“Afrocentrism is a pseudoscience that is pushing a group’s agenda to claim Egypt’s history and rob the actual Egyptians from it,” explained Maha Shehata and Aikk Yasser. “By using false articles and zero evidence, they are still attempting to falsify history.”
“Cleopatra was born in Alexanderia, Egypt in the ptolemaic dynasty to Greek descent,” the pair continued. “She was NOT black. This is in no way against black people, and is simply a wake up call to preserve the history and the integrity of the Egyptians and the Greeks. The show is clearly done to complement the Afrocentric movement, which claims to be the owner of the ancient Egyptian civilization, and to consolidate what the movement promotes.”
“Egypt was never BLACK and it was never WHITE, Egypt is just Egypt,” Shehata and Yasser ultimately declared. “There are many great African/black civilizations, but Egypt was/is NOT one of them. Sign the petition to stop the falsification of history!”
In a disclaimer later added to the end of their petition, the two further asserted, “Please do not use this in any way, shape or form to be racist or prejudice against black people or anyone else. This is no fuel for nationalism either. Only a call for the truth.”
Unfortunately, Shehata and Yasser’s dedication to objective historical truth would ruffle the feathers of Change.org, as the petition would be pulled by the site’s administrators the very next day.
According to a message sent to both of the campaign organizers and later shared to their individual Instagram accounts, this action was taken because “information you’ve included in your petition violates our Community Guidelines.
Though Change.org did not specify which of their guidelines the pair had violated, a review of their policies suggests the site believed the petition to be an instance of “hate speech” against “an entire class of people because of a characteristic they share.”
In turn, both Shehata and Yasser would edit their initial Instagram announcements regarding the petition’s existence to inform their followers of this unexplained development.
“The outrage is NOT because they got a black actress, the outrage is because we know they’re trying to push the agenda of ‘modern day egyptians are colonizers,” the pair wrote.
“2 days ago @aikkyasser & I started a petition to combat the historical fallacies offered by the @netflix documentary ‘Queen Cleopatra’ and the fueling of the Afrocentric agenda behind it,” they detailed to their followers. “In 2 days we almost got 100K signatures, a handful of Egyptian Celebrities resharing it and articles written by Greek tabloids. A few minutes ago @changedotorg removed our petition for nonsense claims of us violating their guidelines.”
As of writing, Change.org has yet to provide either Shehata or Yasser with any details regarding which specific community guideline their petition breached.
Mewanwhile, Queen Cleopatra is currently on track to release – and rewrite history – on May 10th.
NEXT: ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Creator Shinichirō Watanabe Says He Was Only Able To Stomach One Scene Of Netflix’s Live-Action Adaptation