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Gal Gadot Faces Backlash For Playing Cleopatra In New Film: 'Stop Whitewashing History'

Rae Batchelor 14 Oct 2020

Casting choices in Hollywood are often controversial, whether it's drama over Scarlett Johansson being cast to play a transgender man or Jake Gyllenhaal being cast in the Prince Of Persia movie.

Sometimes the controversy is more nuanced, which is what's causing the intense discussion after Gal Gadot announced she would be portraying Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, in a new film.

Actress Gal Gadot is most famous for her starring role in Wonder Woman.

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Gal also made headlines earlier this year after her idea to record various celebrities singing John Lennon's 'Imagine' was not particularly well-received despite its intentions to raise spirits during the pandemic.

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Gal recently spoke out about the backlash she received for the video.

“Sometimes, you know, you try and do a good deed and it’s just not the right good deed," Gal told Vanity Fair, adding, "I had nothing but good intentions and it came from the best place."

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"I just wanted to send light and love to the world," Gal went on.

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"I can only say that I meant to do something good and pure. It didn't transcend," Gal concluded of the star-studded video.

Gal has been making headlines once again for another controversy, this time surrounding her casting in a new movie.

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Gal recently announced she would be playing the role of Cleopatra in a new movie.

"As you might have heard I teamed up with Patty Jenkins and Leata Kalogridis to bring the story of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, to the big screen in a way she’s never been seen before. To tell her story for the first time through women's eyes, both behind and in front of the camera," Gal tweeted.

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"We are especially thrilled to be announcing this on International Day of the Girl!"

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"We hope women and girls all around the world, who aspire to tell stories will never give up on their dreams and will make their voices heard, by and for other women," the tweet finished.

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There was immediately some backlash to the news.

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"The question for me isn't 'Why cast Gal Gadot to play Cleopatra' so much as why we need to retell the story of the same white (or perceived as white) queens over and over. Where are the Nefertiti, Queen Charlotte or Empress Wu biopics?" one fan asked.

"Stop whitewashing my history," another since-deleted tweet stated.

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Fans were upset.

"Gal gadot playing cleopatra... CLEOPATRA!!! I’m so done with you demons ruining everything," one passionate tweet read, "Paramount paramours whatever y'all called I hope this movie tanks if it ever happens."

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However, some fans defended the choice.

"I'm going to say this once and I'm not going to say it again, Cleopatra was Greek. Yes, she was in Egyptian ruler but she was Greek with Persian and Syrian ancestry. The people who are reacting negatively that to this are uneducated and uninformed," another fan added.

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Many pointed out that Cleopatra wasn't Egyptian or African herself.

"Dear Americans please read this before you go off calling Gal Gadot's Cleopatra not being 'black' a crime. She was pure Greek. Get educated," one fan wrote.

Some people took their defense of Gal a step farther.

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The YouTube account Reface, which specializes in using technology to replace faces in videos with different faces, made a unique video in respose.

The video showed footage from the 1963 film Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor that had been edited to have Gal's face over Elizabeth's, showing what it might look like when Gal plays the part.

It's super impressive!

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What do you think of the controversy?

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Are people being too sensitive about this casting choice, or do they have a point? Will you be tuning in to Gal's movie about Cleopatra? Let us know how you're feeling about this in the comments below!

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