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Illustration, Netflix

Earlier this year comedian Kevin Hart drew criticism after his show in Egypt was canceled for saying ancient Egyptian kings were Black.

The pint-size American comedian was set to perform in Cairo, Egypt, in February. However, R Productions, the Egyptian event management company behind Hart’s tour, canceled the show amid angry backlash in the country.

This week Netflix turned off the comments on the official trailer for Jada Pinkett Smith‘s new “Queen Cleopatra” biopic because the Egyptian Queen is portrayed as a Black woman.

According to, Netflix was forced to turn off the comments under the official trailer on YouTube after heated backlash and claims of racist “blackwashing”.

In the biopic, which airs on Netflix on May 10, Cleopatra is portrayed as a Black woman, despite historians confirming the Queen was of Macedonian Greek heritage.

The 4-part series is produced by Smith, 51, and stars British actress Adele James, 37, as Queen Cleopatra.

Cleopatra was famously played by white English actress Elizabeth Taylor in 1963.

Conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro made a podcast about the biopic. “The rule in Hollywood nowadays is that any character can be played by a Black person, but no Black character can ever be played by anyone else,” Shapiro said.

Historians also weighed in on the controversy.

“It’s possible she was an Egyptian,” says one expert, while another added: “I remember my grandmother saying to me ‘I don’t care what they tell you in school, Cleopatra was black.'”

The two-minute trailer has already racked up over 2 million views since it was uploaded on April 12 on YouTube.

A petition to cancel the biopic has generated over 3,000 signatures. A previous petition – which was taken down – had over 62,000 signatures.

Watch the official trailer below.