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Greek Minister Blasts Netflix Doc on Alexander as ‘Low-Quality Fiction’

Alexander the Great Gay Netflix
One of the first scenes in the Netflix series portrays Alexander the Great as gay. Credit: Video/screenshot/Netflix

The Greek Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni criticized Netflix’s series on Alexander the Great as being “low-quality fiction” that does not represent historical facts.

The minister’s statement in Parliament followed a question by a nationalist lawmaker who demanded that Greece officially condemn the series.

Mendoni said there are inaccuracies in the series, but emphasized that the Ministry of Culture does not censor art or proceed with actions that result in its prosecution.

Netflix’s documentary “Alexander: The Making of a God,” portrays the Macedonian king as being gay causing anger among many viewers who say it distorts history.

In the opening episode of the series which started airing on Netflix on January 31, Alexander the Great, played by Buck Braithwaite, kisses his friend Hephaestion on the mouth and body, and they exchange tender caresses.

This is not the first time that Alexander the Great’s sexuality has caused controversy. Director Oliver Stone’s 2004 depiction of the Macedonian king as homosexual in the movie “Alexander” was similarly divisive.

Netflix series on Alexander the Great “seeks easy sensationalism”

“The elements of Alexander’s personality are not brought out in the Netflix series, which does not serve the historical truth. It is filled with historical inaccuracies and shows directorial sloppiness and poverty of scenario”, Mendoni said.

“It seeks easy sensationalism to gain viewers by using malicious commentary as supposed facts. The platform characterizes the series as a documentary with scenes of fiction. In essence, it is an extremely low-quality fiction, of low content, which is far removed from historical events as recorded in ancient written sources and documented by archaeological research,” she added.

“Regarding the issue of the relationship with Hephaestion, there is no mention in the sources that it goes beyond the limits of friendship, as defined by Aristotle”, the minister pointed out.

“We should not interpret actions of persons that lived more than 2,000 years ago with our own modern standards and norms,” Mendoni stressed.

This is the second time a Netflix documentary on ancient Greek themes angers viewers. Last Spring the documentary Queen Cleopatra, exploring the life of the legendary ruler of Egypt, was criticized for “blackwashing” due to the decision to depict Cleopatra as black, despite the historical figure being of Greek descent.

The new Netflix series promises to reveal the “extraordinary life of Alexander the Great,” per the official synopsis. In particular, it will track his rise from an exiled young man to his growing obsession with defeating the Persian Emperor Darius. This led him to “conquer the known world in just under six years.”

The story is told through dramatic scenes and expert academic insights in addition to ground-breaking archaeology and ongoing excavations at the archaeological site in Alexandria, Egypt. The excavations are led by Calliope Limneos-Papakosta.

Related: Was Alexander the Great Gay? What the Historians Say

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