Gal Gadot’s Controversial Cleopatra Casting Spotlights Hollywood’s Diversity Problem

With such a welcome as Gal Gadot on playing Wonder Woman, one might think that Gadot can have any role she wants without obstacles. That has proved that is not the case with her proposed role as Cleopatra.

In the last few years, Hollywood has made efforts to become more diverse and inclusive after decades of well-known failures in these areas. However, some people argue that just throwing someone who is not white is not always the best solution.

Who was Cleopatra?

according to History.com, Cleopatra was the ruler of Egypt from about 51 BC to 31 BC. She was best known for her romantic connections with Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, the latter of which fell apart.

She was said to have died by suicide using a poisonous snake. After her death, Egypt became part of the Roman Empire.

It was such a dramatic story to attract Hollywood, and it has done so many times, as highlighted by Grunge. One version, featuring Claudette Colbert, came out in 1934 and was directed by Cecil B. DeMille, famous for biblical achievements such as The Ten Commandments.

Perhaps the most famous version is the 1963 film starring true lovers Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor as Antony and Cleopatra. That version was so expensive out there and such a troublesome product, it almost sank 20th Century Fox.

Other Cleopatras include the first-named film star Florence Lawrence, silent film star Theda Bara, and Oscar winners Vivien Leigh and Sophia Loren. Gadot is next line, and it looks like she won’t be last in line. Her version will be directed by Patty Jenkins, who directed both Wonder Woman films.

What does Gal Gadot say about Cleopatra?

Gal Gadot will attend the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Gal Gadot | Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

The 1963 Cleopatra It drew attention for the long, grim shooting, but the 2022 version, with a story by Gadot per IMDb, has created controversy just by being named. The New York Post reports that some parties have criticized Gadot’s throw because they believe Cleopatra should be played by an Arab or African actress. Gadot is from Israel.

Gadot herself objected: “First of all, if you want to be truthful, Cleopatra was Macedonian. We were looking for a Macedonian actress who could fit Cleopatra. She was not there. And I was very passionate about Cleopatra. ”

At least one historian, Kathryn Bard, professor of Archeology and Classical Studies at Boston University, says Gadot is right about Cleopatra being from Macedonia. Geologist Sally Ann Ashton said: “Maybe she wasn’t just completely European. You have to remember that her family lived in Egypt for 300 years before she came to power. ”

While his true historians debate Cleopatra’s ancestry and appearance, the fact that Hollywood has consistently chosen passing actors to feature the part reveals the industry’s problems. After all, if Cleopatra it was possible being African or Arab, why didn’t a major change of the Arab or Black star story unfold?

What are other examples of Hollywood diversity issues?

Concerns about throwing Gadot are part of a growing movement in Hollywood to throw actors who are in line with the careers. For example, Hispanics should play Hispanics, trans actors should play trans people, and so on. Scarlett Johansson recently caught fire for wanting to be able to play a trans man in the movie Rub & Tug until she pulled out of the last project when people were saying that the job should go to a trans actor.

In the past, the standard argument went that an established actor would get a part playing a person with color because the film needed the power of a star – someone to sell. There would be an example of this The Story of the West. Natalie Wood ‘s performance in that film as the Puerto Rican Maria was cited as an example of whitewashing, but in 1961, she was the only one above the title star of that film. Steven Spielberg, with his remake of West Side Story, made a point about throwing a Hispanic as Maria.

Such concerns about the power of stars are less common today because there is a perception that stars will no longer sell movies – franchises like superhero movies.

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