• Kobi Tour Guide of Israel

Backlash for Gal Gadot as Cleopatra, + Shira Haas & the IPO

Israeli superstar Gal Gadot - recently named the 3rd-highest paid actress in the world by Forbes - was just cast as Cleopatra in the new biopic set to be told for the first time from a female perspective. It's a huge project requiring some major star power and Gadot definitely brings that. And yet there has been some backlash which has been incredible in both the amount of it and the stupidity of it - on numerous levels.

Nobody had a problem with Gadot playing a Greek woman in Wonder Woman, but now that she is set to play another Greek woman - and yes, Cleopatra was Greek (Macedonian) - people are all up in arms. Mostly because either they don't know the history of who she was, or even worse, they think that Jews somehow aren't from the Middle East/Mediterranean. Which is either incredibly stupid, blindly ignorant or willfully anti-Semitic.


Here is a quick recap of the backlash:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/gal-gadot-to-star-as-cleopatra-sparking-outcry-as-israeli-cast-as-queen-of-egypt/


And here is the best breakdown as to why it is total nonsense:

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/gal-gadot-is-middle-eastern-shes-not-whitewashing-anything/

Of course a Jewish woman playing Cleopatra in a movie has been controversial before. That's right... Elizabeth Taylor - a Jew by choice - played Cleopatra years ago and there were some issues. For more on that story, click here:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/before-gal-gadot-liz-taylor-sparked-debate-as-jewish-actress-playing-cleopatra/


Of course if you have been on an Israel trip before and had me as your Israel tour guide, you would know that I often have people dress up in character as historical figures, in order to help make the history come alive.

And so, my take on what really happened here? This photo accidentally got out...

Sorry about causing all this ruckus, everyone!


Meanwhile, Israeli actress Shira Haas, who was nominated for an Emmy and wore a Chanel dress at the online show, is now going to appear in a Chanel-led campaign with a positive message. For click here: https://www.israelhayom.com/2020/10/11/israeli-star-shira-haas-tapped-for-new-campaign/


Finally, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra has been hard at work putting their concerts online for everyone to enjoy. Check out their site to see 34 concerts from the past few years: https://www.ipo.co.il/en/live-streaming/. Their most recent concert, recorded last week with a reduced, socially-distanced group with no audience, is available here below:

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