Artistic types have been “reimagining” historical drama forever. Shakespeare, a lurid Tudor propagandist, did it. His plays performed later followed in his steps. Orson Welles set MacBeth in Haiti and Ian McKellen set Richard III in the 1930s. The big band R3 is really good.

And if you go to the Basilica of the National Shrine in DC, a Roman Catholic church, you will see on the back wall above the altar the most surfer dude blonde Jesus Christ you can envision. The reality, that Jesus was a Jew who likely resembled Dustin Hoffman, is conveniently overlooked by my co-religionists.

So it shouldn’t be a big deal if some woke auteur decides to make Cleopatra black in a series, kind of like Eddie Murphy in the Remember the Time music video. Though historical evidence says Cleo’s family was not black. They were of Greek descent.

But the funny thing is whenever there are a plethora of non-minority players in a production the Thought Police scream “whitewashing!” and “cultural appropriation!” almost no matter what the topic. This time, per the Cleopatra story, it’s the Egyptians who take offense. The Greeks may not be far behind.

As such, last Wednesday, Egyptian lawyer Mahmoud al-Semary filed a suit against Netflix for the “reimagined” offering, calling for a probe into Netflix as well a block on the service in Egypt. Now the pharonic shoe is on the other foot. Why isn’t this cultural appropriation? Or does that screech only work for some people?

The director of the Cleopatra series has a lame response. Tina Gharavi,  “While shooting, I became the target of a huge online hate campaign. Egyptians accused me of ‘blackwashing’ and ‘stealing’ their history…what a political act it would be to see Cleopatra portrayed by a black actress…The sad part is that we don’t have ready access to these historical women who were so powerful…Never before has it been more important to have women leaders: white or black…Why shouldn’t Cleopatra be a melanated sister? And why do some people need Cleopatra to be white?” The opposition to her series is influenced by “the internalized white supremacy that Hollywood has indoctrinated.” Such nonsense. Where to begin? We already acknowledged the woke hypocrisy of the thing. Turn a Greek and Egyptian figure black, no problem. Turn a figure white or exclude something based on the historical record and you’d be guilty of “whitewashing.”

Do you support individual military members being able to opt out of getting the COVID vaccine?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

Ergo, how far are we allowed to go these days before we run afoul of the woke Brownshirts? An Asian Malcolm X? A white Harriet Tubman? One wonders how the hive would feel about that.

And of course Johnny Gyppo is upset. Not a product of silly Western PC conditioning and subsequent historical and cultural masochism, he is rightly proud of his heritage and is not amused to see it altered in the name of woke madness.

Gharavi admits it’s an act of political agitprop, as opposed to a mere cultural gambit, and then whines we don’t see have access to stories of female leaders. Has she watched television or film for the last twenty years? White supremacy in Hollywood today? Ummm, where?

Bloody hell, from a black Anne Boleyn to various make believe female US presidents the pop culture is inundated with fabricated tales of leftist female nobility and leadership, much of it centered on “melanated sisters.” White males in the same leads? Not so much. Gynowashing anyone? Thus, the lines are not so easily drawn.

Also, nobody is claiming Cleopatra is white as we understand the term. It’s a reliable talking point for the left to call something or someone white and then to expect their immediate banishment to the hinterlands of cultural legitimacy.

And never so important to elect female leaders? Okay, I’ll bite. Can we start with Kristi Noem or Nancy Mace? Something tells me Gharavi would object to that.

This Cleopatra series is part of the same old racist song from the cultural left. They can do anything they want, but lo to others not of Bolshevik ideology who dare to follow their lead. Whitewashing, blackwashing, potato, potahto. Go ahead and have fun with history. But spare us the woke theology lessons.