Jun 27, 2010

The Great Debate

Photo Via: ScreenRant.com
The Queen of Hollywood will soon become Queen of the Nile. Angelina Jolie, the stunning actress, mother and humanitarian, has been cast as Cleopatra in an upcoming biopic. While the initial response was positive, backlash has now broken out over Angelina being cast as the African queen.

It all started earlier this month when it was announced that the biopic would be developed based on Stacy Shiff's book, "Cleopatra: A Life." Producer Scott Rudin told the press he developed the film "for and with Jolie," telling USA Today, "Physically, she's the perfect look." Many African Americans disagree though, with blogs criticizing the casting choice based on race.
"I don't care how full Angelina Jolie's lips are, how many African children she adopts, or how bronzed her skin will become for the cilm," Shirea Carroll wrote on Essence.com. 
Part of the controversy stems from Hollywoods decision to cast white women in need of make-up over women over women of color. Elizabeth Taylor, another famous white actress, was cast as Cleopatra in the original Hollywood film, and some of the backlash stems from Hollywood's inability to fix its wrongs.

Another source of frustration: beauty. While Cleopatra is generally known as a goddess of ancient history, recent evidence claims the queen of the Nile was actually quite plain. According to ABC News, Egyptologists insist that the legendary temptress was actually "short, fat and plain."

This is not the first time Angelina has been called out for playing a woman of color. She raised eyebrows in 2007 when she was cast  as Marian Pearl, the wife of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who is partly of African descent. Angelina wore dark make-up to look the part, and Marian defended her, saying, "It is not about the color of your skin. It is about who you are." What do you think of the casting choice? 

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