Home » “Historic mistake”: choice of Denzel Washington in Netflix film about Hannibal heats up emotions in Tunisia

“Historic mistake”: choice of Denzel Washington in Netflix film about Hannibal heats up emotions in Tunisia

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The casting of Denzel Washington in a new Netflix film about Hannibal is causing a lot of commotion in Tunisia. The actor’s skin color would be a particular problem.

A new Netflix film about politician and military general Hannibal is causing a lot of discussion in Tunisia. The general was born in the region about 180 years BC and the fact that the role goes to the black actor Denzel Washington is not acceptable according to many.

The French-language Tunisian digital newspaper La Presse recently published an article in which they speak of a “historical mistake” and on social media Netflix is ​​accused of promoting “woke culture”. A petition has even been started to force Netflix to cancel the film.

The skin color of the man, considered by many to be one of the greatest military leaders in history, is unknown. But historians largely agree that he was of Phoenician descent, a region that includes modern-day Lebanon and Syria.

When Netflix announced the film, a member of parliament asked Tunisian Culture Minister Hayet Ketat Guermazi for a position. “The ministry must take a stand on the issue,” the MP said. “This is about defending Tunisian identity and listening to the responses of civil society.”

The minister said her ministry is instead focusing on negotiating with Netflix to shoot some scenes of the film in Tunisia. “It’s fiction. It’s their right. Hannibal is a historical figure, even if we are all proud that he is Tunisian. What can we do?,” Guermazi said. “What’s important to me is that they shoot even one scene in Tunisia and mention it. We want Tunisia to become a platform for foreign films again.”

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