The controversial Netflix docudrama Queen Cleopatra currently has one of the worst ratings in TV history on the site Rotten Tomatoes.
Whilst it has sat at number six on the site’s Top 10 List (per Forbes), viewers and critics haven’t responded well to the show that divided opinion for portraying the Ancient Egyptian Queen as Black – something contested by elements of Egyptian society. One lawyer in the country even accused the series of violating media laws and seeking to “erase the Egyptian identity“.
Tina Gharvi, the show’s creator, defended the casting choice: “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.
After much hand-wringing and countless auditions, we found in Adele James an actor who could convey not only Cleopatra’s beauty, but also her strength. What the historians can confirm is that it is more likely that Cleopatra looked like Adele than Elizabeth Taylor ever did.”
Season one of the show currently has 11% on the ‘Tomatometer’ and 2% on the audience score, with the latter from 2,500+ ratings. The latter category represents a tremendous low. Currently, only nine critic reviews exist on the site, with non particularly glowing about it.