The Netflix show Queen Cleopatra was released on Wednesday to abysmal ratings. As of publication, the show has over 2,500 audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes for an aggregate score of 1 percent, the lowest score possible on the website.
The show also has an average critic score of 11 percent with only one out of nine critics giving it a favorable rating. With over 35 thousand reviews on IMDB, Queen Cleopatra has a rating of 1.1 out of 10 making it among the lowest rated shows listed on the website.
The docudrama about the ancient Egyptian queen was the subject of controversy prior to being released due to a black woman portraying Cleopatra. According to CBS, Egyptians were not happy with the producers for appropriating their culture and rewriting history.
"Since the film is classified as a documentary and not a drama, those making the film have to be accurate and it should be based on historical and scientific facts, to ensure that history and civilizations are not falsified," the Egyptian Ministry said. "The rejection of the film before its screening was in defense of the history of Queen Cleopatra… and has nothing to do with racism."
Lawyer Mahmoud El-Semiry filed a formal complaint to investigate and possibly ban Netflix in Egypt over the controversy. "We have known for thousands of years that Cleopatra is of Greek origin and was born in Egypt. This is a fact," he said. "Our main objection is the falsification of these facts. It is not about being Black or White or even Yellow. Let's say they wanted to portray Cleopatra as a man, we would also object to that.""I did think people would talk about it, and I did think people would be excited about it," Cleopatra actress Adelle James told Glamour. "There are versions of Cleopatra that exist already with actresses in that role who are fairer skinned than I am, but I think I have every right to have a shot at humanizing this incredible woman."
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