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Friday, October 16, 2020 

The rude "a-wokening" of somebody who thought she could appease other leftists

Jonathan Tobin wrote about the reprehensible responses Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot received on social media and in the press after she announced she was going to take on the role of Cleopatra in a new movie project:
The buzz on social media about the project revealed that a lot of people think Gadot has no business stepping in the footsteps of Hollywood legends Claudette Colbert and Elizabeth Taylor in playing the ultimate vamp role. They think it’s wrong that someone who isn’t black or Arab—or at least brown-skinned—is getting the part.

A lot of those who spoke out on this issue simply resent Gadot for being Israeli, a veteran of the Israel Defense Force and that her family immigrated to the Jewish state from Eastern Europe (her maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors, though her father is a sixth-generation sabra). But their beef isn’t just rooted in hatred for Jews and Israelis. Speaking in the language of race theory and intersectionalism, critics say the film is yet another act of cultural appropriation by colonizers in which the heritage of indigenous peoples of Africa and the Middle East are being stolen by whites.

That’s why this dustup isn’t just the usual nonsensical hype coming out of the entertainment world about a movie that is still in the planning stages. It matters because the debate about the prospective film illustrates the way ideological myths about race have distorted our public discourse and, more importantly, the way popular culture operates. The point being if studio heads and their sources of funding fear being “canceled” for casting a white Jewish woman as Cleopatra because the woke world demands a “person of color” in that role so much that they dumped Gadot, then it will be an important turning point not just for Hollywood but for so much else, too. It would be one more indication of how broken our culture has become because of the growing dominance of far-left ideologues that peddle lies about both the past and the present.

The first point to be made about the film is that, contrary to the nonsense we’re hearing from Gadot’s critics, the real Cleopatra was neither black nor Arab. She and the other members of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt were descendants of the first Ptolemy, who was one of Alexander the Great’s companions and generals. He and his successors were Macedonian Greeks. Over the course of the 250 years during which his family ruled Egypt, they almost always married their siblings or cousins. That produced a lot of the usual problems with incest but it also, despite attempts to try and justify the depiction of Cleopatra as a black woman, ensured that the last of the Ptolemys was as European as the first.
Unlike some other "stars" like Scarlett Johansson, who've capitulated and dropped roles they'd auditioned for like that of a transsexual, Gadot is likely to stand firm on this role (partly because she may have been the one to promote it in the first place). Of course, that's exactly why it's regrettable if only Israelis are going to stand their ground. Yet as Ruthie Blum notes next, this whole affair is exactly why the whole notion of pandering to leftists is an epic failure:
Though Gadot may have thought she would elicit cheers for her feminism, she was treated instead to a cacophony of booing and hissing.

Her many and varied detractors were divided into two categories: the vicious BDS-ers with a long-standing grudge against her because she’s from Israel, and the “woke” choir, obsessed with “white privilege” and “cultural appropriation,” in art as in life. To such fanatics, poetic license is taboo unless it involves rewriting history in the direction that they deem politically acceptable. [...]

It’s common for Israeli liberals to experience a rude awakening when their politics don’t protect them from the wrath of their country’s enemies abroad. Gadot got a hefty dose of reality in 2014, for instance, when she dared to voice solidarity for her people and condemn the terrorist group trying to wipe them out.

During “Operation Protective Edge”—Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza—Gadot got raked over the coals by Palestinians and their apologists for an Instagram photo of herself and her daughter lighting Shabbat candles, with the accompanying text: “I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children … We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom! #weareright #freegazafromhamas #stopterror.”

Suddenly, the international sensation with a sexy Hebrew lilt was blasted for having served in the Israel Defense Forces and—gasp—being proud of it. This was a huge no-no for the BDS crowd, who began to accuse her of war crimes.

Luckily for Gadot, her box-office success was of greater interest to her Hollywood studio than her country of origin or the fact that her military duty involved teaching calisthenics to combat troops
. If anything—as she herself has said in interviews—her fitness prepared her for the role with which she has become synonymous.

Even if she had been a commando, however, she would have been at a loss in the face of American “woke” culture, in which the pen has become stiff competition for the sword. What she ought to have learned by now, after so much time among progressive bullies in the United States, is that the animosity she’s currently experiencing cannot be countered through appeasement.
See, that's the trouble - she won't. Or, it's unlikely she'll take issue with their ideologies and obsessions with identity politics. The planned Cleopatra movie is sure to be developed in the future, possibly after the whole Covid19 pandemic is done with, but anybody who thinks Gadot and others like her are going to change their approach to all these SJW creeps is sadly bound to be mistaken. And it's most regrettable that liberals have to be the ones to get into the film industry.

As Blum says, Gadot should at least appreciate the conservative-leaning people who're coming to her defense, but chances are she won't ever actually say she's grateful for their help. That's another unfortunate problem.

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