A mixed-race woman is playing Cleopatra on Netflix. So what?
Casting is one thing. We've been casting people who were not the same race as the person or character probably since the beginning of drama. Let's not get into the history of boys playing women and the history of drag, though we supposedly get the word drag from the sound their dresses made on the stage during Shakespeare's time.
My issue is to say that someone who was mostly inbred Macedonian‐Greek was African, when she probably wasn't, misses actual African women who ruled Egypt and other parts of Africa. We need to hear and read about these women. We hear about interesting European women more than Asian, African, Indigenous, etc. women.
You forgot Amanda Barrie in Carry on Cleo, pretty sure Cleopatra didn't have a Lancashire accent 🤔🤔
I remember a lass on your facebook page moaning like a bitch about Jodie Turner-Smith playing Anne Boleyn and how she was outraged at history being changed etc, etc. Thankfully though I was able to calm her down (not!) by reassuring her that Anne Boleyn was still a dead headless white woman. For some reason she told me to fuck off, can't see why? 🤣
We"re 20-odd comments in and still nobody has mentioned Jesus Christ Superstar?! Fifty years ago, Christ was cast inthe film as white, blonde and blue-eyed. Do we say now that this doesn't matter (à la the examples of Cleopatra and Anne Boleyn), or is this different because Christ has for centuries been painted as a white person and so the film is another example of a biased rendition?
Such a lip smacking finger licking fresh eclair with hot coffee for breakfast post. Kind of like Richard Burton in a senate toga emerging from a carriage full of blond Roman bougies. Glorious.
1. "Feet up, spark a fat one, watch the internet burn down." well, yeah
and not only that but then
2, "It might piss you off to see any person playing any historical figure with whom they do not share the same race, sexuality, gender-identification, etc etc, because you are insane, you believe in destroying the first principles of acting, you have lost the faculty of critical reasoning, or at least the ability to reason a position through to a general conclusion, you have drunk all the twenty-first century Kool Aid now, it’s time for you to go home." I know SOOO many of those people.
ALL IN ONE POST???
As Bob Marley said, "You got so much tings to say right now"
Might be showing my age but now I have "Cleopatra, comin' at ya" stuck in my head 😆
First sign of the apocalypse!! Personally I'm pissed that Anthony Field was cast as a postman on Bluey. Anthony? The guy that had children singing and their mothers swooning??? He should have gotten a much bigger part. Where do I write in!?!?
I just love your straight forward, no messing, these are the facts pieces. Love ‘em ! Bravo.
ALWAYS INTERESTING. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT ANGLE AND EVERYONE ELSE IS BEING SO REVISIONIST THAT IT MAKES ONE NUTTY IF THEY PAY ATTENTION TO THE NONSENSE. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO TRY TO START OUT WITH SO MANY CHANGES AS THEY ARE TRYING TO DO. TOTAL NONSENSE SEE YOU IN PASADENA YAY YAY YAY (HERE PICTURE AN OLD LADY OF 88 DANCING WITHOUT FALLING OVER)
Saw a short clip from the documentary where an older, well-meaning black lady said, "My grandmother told me before going to school that Cleopatra was black, don't let them tell you anything differently". With that it does feel like an attempt to revise history when I wish they'd choose accuracy over agenda. All that said, how often does Hollywood get anything right? Not terribly often. I'll choose to redirect my outrage to something more deserving. Moving on....
Great post again, Dan. Considering the related topic of narrative history (your usual business until you took a fun detour into writing historical fiction), I continue to be puzzled by the specific interest groups that state that only a member of their group can write a "valid" history of their group. This view seems to be quite prevalent today in some circles and, in my opinion, this argument sits at the edge of your post. With this logic, only an Egyptian woman with a specific blend of Greek ancestors could play Cleopatra or someone would have their knickers in a twist. If this were the case for history, Dan, you would only be able to write Crusader history if you had been a crusader yourself. As usual, you are a voice of centrist reason in this regard -- actors are playing a character, so any actor could play Cleopatra. Given that you've solved the "acting thing" so definitively, can you give us some guidance on how we should navigate the related issue of narrative history without looking: a) reactionary, b) bigoted, c) too conservative, d) too liberal or somehow e) all of the above?
P.S .Asking for a friend 😂
If the only people we allow to portray Cleopatra in the future are those of Ptolemaic/Seleucid ancestry, we're going to have a bad time. Acting is essentially playing make believe for adults. Methinks society would be a lot better off if we stopped taking things like casting decisions so seriously.
Written in a way only you can do 😀😀 love it
Very well said. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. Not bloody rocket science is it?
This topic has been popping up all over the place this week. Finally, I read something reasonable about it. Thanks.
“You have confused dippy TV drama for some sort of time-travelling social justice machine.”
Great line. I am 1/4 Egyptian and 1/4 Syrian, as a kid born in the Smoky Mountains and growing up in the States (9/11 happened when I was in high school) I would have loved to see someone who looked like me on TV. Anyone who has been profoundly and repeatedly othered can probably relate to those feelings. So I don’t think it’s quite as simple as you’ve made it.
That being said it’s been a week’s worth of eye rolling for me watching this story play out. People are always looking for something to be outraged about these days. Im pretty sure you could upload a video of clip of this new Cleopatra show on Porn Hub and it’s popularity would eclipse all others within minutes. In fact, starting a Rage Porn Hub could be a billion dollar idea. Cut me in if you start it.