Twitter explodes over casting of 'white, Israeli' Gal Gadot as Cleopatra

In the process, the Twitterverse got a history lesson, as many learned that the famous queen was Greek.

Gal Gadot at the Met Gala, May 6, 2019 (photo credit: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS)
Gal Gadot at the Met Gala, May 6, 2019
After it was announced that Gal Gadot would play Cleopatra in a new movie version of the Queen of Egypt’s life on Sunday night, a controversy broke out over whether the Israeli star of Wonder Woman was the correct ethnicity for the role.
In the process, the Twitterverse got a history lesson, as many learned that the famous queen was Greek.
The movie will be directed by Wonder Woman helmer Patty Jenkins, and is being written by Laeta Kalogridis, who tweeted, “Incredibly excited to get the chance to tell the story of Cleopatra, my favorite Ptolemaic Pharoah and arguably the most famous Macedonian Greek woman in history.”
But that didn’t stop some Twitter users from bemoaning the fact that Gadot, who is of Ashkenazi ancestry, got the role.
Former RT journalist (who left the network financed by the Russian government after effusively praising Stalin’s gulags) and onetime Miss New Jersey Sameera Khan tweeted: “Which Hollywood dumbass thought it would be a good idea to cast an Israeli actress as Cleopatra (a very bland looking one) instead of a stunning Arab actress like Nadine Njeim?
And shame on you, Gal Gadot. Your country steals Arab land & you’re stealing their movie roles... smh.”
Another Twitter user, @MoeDihani, made a similar suggestion: "How about they cast someone with North African blood! someone like Sofia Boutella! I’m so sick of casting white actors and Israelis as pharaohs and arab roles! Gal Gadot shouldn’t be Cleopatra. . . .THE DISRESPECT!"
Another tweet by cthulhuey lewis & the news said: “Cleopatra was a white foreign imperialist, Gal Gadot is the perfect casting choice to play her.”
But many others saw this outcry as an example of “woke” culture gone amok.
Daniel Laufer pointed out the facts about Cleopatra’s true background and tweeted, “this thread is *both* historically ignorant *and* racist.”
Ambarish, a realist among Twitter users, tweeted the following dialogue: “Why isnt Cleopatra played by a black woman?!/Coz Cleopatra was Macedonian Greek/Well Gal Gadot isnt Greek! They are brown!/No they arent. They are  white/Besides Gal comes from a similar coast/So what? They should get a Macedonian to play her!/Like who?/Uhhh..."
Gadot did not respond to the critics but gushed on her Instagram account, "As you might have heard I teamed up with @PattyJenks and @LKalogridis 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.
I love embarking on new journeys, I love the excitement of new projects, the thrill of bringing new stories to life. Cleopatra is a story I wanted to tell for a very long time.”
Cleopatra’s life has been the subject of a number of movies, most notably the 1963 Elizabeth Taylor film by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with Richard Burton as Mark Anthony. It was the highest budget movie ever made up till then and was also famous because Taylor and Burton, both of whom were married to other people, fell in love and had an affair on the set.
Taylor left her husband, Jewish crooner Eddie Fisher, and the Burton and Taylor married and divorced – twice. At press time, there was no word on what leading man would play opposite Gadot’s pale-skinned queen of the Nile.
Meanwhile, perhaps Michael Dickson, an author and executive director of Stand With Us, had the most creative reply to Khan’s complaint, tweeting, “Um, Cleopatra was Greek. Which is fine because as everyone knows Gal Gadot is from the Greek island of Themyscira . . . Does that make it ok now, Sameera? #Antisemite”