"Netflix has a new documentary about Alexander the Great. In the first eight minutes, they make him gay." That's the conclusion of the influential X-account End Wokeness, with over two million followers. Much to the dismay of conservatives, Buck Braithwaite, portraying Alexander in the new film, kisses his co-star Will Stevens, who plays Alexander's childhood friend Hephaestion. While we may never know for sure, numerous historians believe that the two were more than just best friends. There are also other historical sources that do mention Alexander's interest in men.
However, conservatives on social media seem unconvinced. Moreover, they believe that this shouldn't be "shoved in viewers' faces within eight minutes." "He had a wife and children," another user on X comments, "they have an agenda."
While Alexander the Great indeed had children, the ancient Greeks did not have the concept of "homosexuality" or "bisexuality" as we understand it. Sexual relations between individuals of the same sex were not always taboo, as they became after the Christianization of Europe and the introduction of the term "sodomy." Furthermore, sexual pleasure at that time was often based on power dynamics and the roles of "receiver" versus "giver." The concept of "homosexuality" as a sexual orientation was introduced only in the nineteenth century.
Conservatives' reaction to the new Netflix film also sparks hilarity on X. "Buddy, have you ever looked into WHY olive oil was so popular with the Greeks and Romans?" one user remarks. Another cynically says, "I don't think it was Netflix that made this ancient Greek gay...", to which a user responds, "Oh! So it wasn't Hephaestion's hips!" Someone else tweets, "He didn't cry over his body for days for people to call him STRAIGHT..."