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Egyptian lawyer sues Netflix for depicting Cleopatra as Black woman

Many Egyptians are furious that Netflix's new series depicts its titular "Queen Cleopatra" as Black despite the ancient ruler's well-known Greek heritage.

CAIRO — An Egyptian lawyer is suing Netflix over its new series “Queen Cleopatra” for depicting the historical figure from ancient Egypt as a Black woman, and having a Black actress, Adele James, perform the title role.

The Egypt Independent reported on Tuesday that lawyer Mahmoud al-Semary filed a case with Egypt’s public prosecutor, demanding “serious legal action” against Netflix, and the blocking of the platform in Egypt.

“Most of what the Netflix platform displays contradicts Islamic and societal values and principles, especially Egyptian ones,” the complaint said. It accused Netflix of promoting “Afrocentrism,” which it alleged would erase Egyptian identity.

"In order to preserve the Egyptian national and cultural identity among Egyptians all over the world and take pride in it, and to consolidate the spirit of belonging to the homeland, and accordingly we ask and seek you to take the necessary legal measures against this platform,” the complaint read.

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