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Netflix's "Cleopatra" Receives 1% Audience Rating, But Here's Why Nobody Likes the Series

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
Cleopatra actress on the Queen Cleopatra Netflix series
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Cleopatra, the latest addition to Netflix's African Queens series, is criticized for its "blackwashing" of the titular character, resulting in an abysmal 1% rating. The documentary delves into the life of Cleopatra, the final pharaoh of Egypt.


The show offers insight into her political endeavors, personal connections, and ancestry, which has been a significant point of debate previously. However, the selection of Adele James, a black actress, to portray Cleopatra has sparked severe backlash.


The fact that Cleopatra was of Macedonian-Greek descent poses a concern, as evidenced by historical records. Forbes reports that the show's audience rating, which stands at 1% after just four days of streaming, is the lowest in history.


They stated that fans give higher ratings than critics, even bad shows. Therefore a 1 percent audience score appears mathematically implausible, especially considering the film's controversy.


The Dissatisfaction of Both Critics and Viewers With Netflix's Queen Cleopatra is Evident.

Queen Cleopatra has received negative feedback from both critics and viewers. A fan expressed disappointment, stating that the documentary lacked credibility by failing to present scientific evidence and deserved the lowest rating.


A different viewer's critique expressed, "This is the perfect choice for those who enjoy subpar acting! Despite my fondness for historical documentaries, I found it excruciating to watch last night. Moreover, the narrator's voice was unbearable; I cannot fathom why they selected someone with such a harsh tone that detracted from the content."


Some individuals are dissatisfied with the portrayal of Queen Cleopatra, portrayed by Adele James, as a Black woman.


What is the Dispute Regarding Queen Cleopatra?

The casting of a Black woman to portray the Egyptian Queen in the production of Queen Cleopatra, executive-produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, sparked controversy.


The appropriation of their culture and alteration of their history has caused great distress among Egyptians, who express their dissatisfaction through criticism.


The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities issued a statement criticizing Netflix for selecting Adele James, citing her "African features and dark skin." They argued that Queen Cleopatra had "light skin and Hellenistic (Greek) features." The statement was lengthy.



The Egyptian ministry has stated that the film must be based on historical and scientific facts to ensure that history and civilizations are not misrepresented, and accuracy is paramount.


Is The Backlash Received By Queen Cleopatra Justified?

Numerous productions face criticism on the internet for changing the race, gender, or sexuality of established fictional characters.


Social media has been consistently abuzz with the news of Halle Bailey's casting as the lead in Disney's live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Despite the initial hype having settled down and the movie justifying its casting decision, some individuals remain unsupportive of the film.


Unlike other controversial releases, the documentary about Queen Cleopatra stands out because it focuses on a historical figure not believed to be Black by academics. Consequently, some have criticized the casting, comparing it to casting a white man as Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr. This is unlikely to happen in modern films and TV shows.


Amid the initial wave of outrage, Tina Gharayi, the series director, had previously justified the casting by claiming that Adele's portrayal of Cleopatra was more accurate regarding physical appearance than Elizabeth Taylor's portrayal in 1963. However, this defense failed to appease the critics, and news emerged that an Egyptian lawyer was suing Netflix for its allegedly harmful portrayal of one of Egypt's most revered historical figures.


"Queen Cleopatra" was produced by Jada Pinkett. It is the second season of the "African Queens" series and is now available for streaming on Netflix.