News culture It’s the biggest failure in Netflix history. And for once, critics and public coincide
The docu-fiction series Queen Cleopatra has not finished talking about her. After the controversy, the new Netflix program breaks a record for the platform. But that’s not the most flattering.
The Cleopatra controversy
Netflix is on all fronts. Series and films in the lead, but also successful documentaries, the streaming platform produces content in mass and vogue across genres, across formats. The giant has recently been talked about with a new docu-fiction production dedicated to Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and legendary figure of Antiquity.
This new series has created controversy since its announcement. For good reason: Adele James, who lends her features to the queen, is a black actress. From then on, several people protested against this casting choice, accusing the platform as well as the director Tina Gharavi of revisionism and “blackwashing“.
The Egyptian government even got involved in the affair. As explained The world at the end of last month, the Ministry of Antiquities published a long statement to relay the word of experts who would be unanimous and declare that “Cleopatra had white skin and Hellenistic features“.
On Facebookthe patron of Egyptian Antiquities said that this representation of Cleopatra was a “falsification of Egyptian history” but went on to add that his statement is only motivated by “defending the story of Queen Cleopatra, which is an important part of ancient Egyptian history, regardless of racial considerations“.
Series Queen Cleopatra made a lot of noise during the month. And if this production had succeeded in convincing the spectators, perhaps it could have made people forget this story. Unfortunately, this is far from the case.
Netflix’s Biggest Critical Failure
Since its publication on May 10, Queen Cleopatra collects catastrophic opinions from all sides. The production also receives a very sad title, namely that of the worst Netflix program of all time. On RottenTomatoes, viewer reviews don’t exceed 3%. It is possible that this result is due to the controversy and that the program was the victim of review bombing. Except that the reviews are not really more favorable with a score of 20%.
The series is criticized for a lot of superficiality, a point of view that would have been interesting if it did not lack consistency. Despite everything, Netflix never once doubted the project, which would have been based on “reconstructions and expert testimony“.
Shortly after the release of the series, the Egyptian national channel Al Wathaeqya announced the start of construction of its own series on Cleopatra, which aims to be “as faithful as possible”.