For the second time in her career, Angelina Jolie is set to portray a black woman (the first time was her role as Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart).
According to an interview conducted by the BBC, Jolie revealed that she will retire from acting after portraying the Egyptian queen Cleopatra in an upcoming film.
For centuries, there have been debates over the race of Queen Cleopatra. She ruled in Egypt starting in 51 B.C. Although she spent time in Rome, Cleopatra’s family lived in Egypt for 300 years, according to Egyptologist Sally Ann Ashton. As a result, it was highly likely that Cleopatra was black and of African descent.
But Hollywood has whitewashed Cleopatra for years. Elizabeth Taylor starred as Cleopatra in 1961 and Jolie will follow with an inaccurate portrayal of the Egyptian ruler.
Moments after it was revealed that Jolie will star as Cleopatra, black Twitter displayed disapproval.
Cleopatra wasn’t white…. So no @ Angelina Jolie
— (@americxnt) May 30, 2014
— Aléxandra (@AlmondJoi1814) May 30, 2014
If Angelina Jolie has been selected for the new cleopatra biopic that would be a big one to pull off. Because last I checked Cleo was black.
— idontKnowItAll (@BlackHitler94) June 1, 2014
I see the uproar about Angelina Jolie playing Cleopatra.
— Fee (@Feathersssss) June 1, 2014
— Prince Cartǝr (@S_C_Jr) May 31, 2014
Isn’t Cleopatra black, why is Angelina Jolie playing her? I hate when they do to that.
— Kara (@KaraRivera_) May 30, 2014