Cleopatra: Gal Gadot faces ‘whitewashing’ backlash after being cast as Egyptian queen

Actor announced she will be teaming up with ‘Wonder Woman’ director Patty Jenkins for the new film

Annabel Nugent
Tuesday 13 October 2020 09:11 BST
Comedians respond to Gal Gadot's Imagine video

Gal Gadot is facing criticism after announcing that she will be portraying Cleopatra in a forthcoming film about the Queen of Egypt.

Since the actor announced the news on Sunday (11 October), many people have voiced their disagreement with the casting decision.

Some claim that casting an Israeli-American actor in the role of the iconic Queen of the Nile is “whitewashing” the character. Whitewashing is a casting practice in which white actors portray non-white roles.

One social media user wrote: “Hollywood has always cast white American actresses as the Queen of the Nile. For once, can’t they find an African actress?”

Another added: “So… there were no Egyptian women to play, um, an Egyptian queen?”

The criticism, however, was met with its own backlash after many other users were quick to point out that most reports find that Cleopatra is of Greek descent.

One user defended the casting decision, stating: “Idiots on Twitter explode with rage over casting of ‘white’ Israeli Gal Gadot as Cleopatra – in the process, the Twitterverse got a history lesson as many learned that the famous queen was Greek.”

A second added: “Now we’re finding out how many people didn’t know that Cleopatra wasn’t actually of Egyptian descent.”

The Justice League star will be reuniting with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins for the movie. A release date is yet to be announced.

It was also recently announced that the release of Gadot’s highly anticipated Wonder Woman sequel has been pushed back from October to December this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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