NBC’s Today Show upset Black Twitter on Tuesday when they, in collaboration with the Travel Channel’s Expedition Unknown and Josh Gates, revealed a bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. The most famous bust of the Ancient Queen currently lives in Berlin. The Berlin version is a tan depiction of the queen with full lips which Gates calls an “idealized, Ancient Photo shopped” version of the Queen, compared to the version he revealed on the Today Show, which he believes to be more historically accurate.

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The Bust that Gates revealed depicted Queen Nefertiti with pale skin, and pink lips that in modern day would have the physical likeness of a white woman. Gates later posted the image of the bust on Twitter which sparked arguments on what skin complexion people of the ancient African country had. “World, meet King Tut’s mother and likely the true face of Nefertiti,” Gates wrote on his Twitter account. “First discovered in 1898, the badly damaged mummy of the so-called “Younger Lady” sits in the Egyptian museum. Through 3D imaging and forensic reconstruction, she lives again.”

Black Twitter wasn’t having it, especially during Black History Month, calling the bust a whitewashed version of the Queen. Following the segment on NBC’s morning broadcast, Black Twitter responded with Gifs, Memes, and angry posts about the bust – arguing that Queen Nefertiti was a Black woman. Historically, Queen Nefertiti had been depicted with darker skin with Gates’ version being the first visual to show the Queen with pale skin.


Josh Gates had previously traveled to Egypt with the Travel Channel to look for answers as to what the historic Queen would have looked like. Gates describes Nefertiti as historically being “the most beautiful woman of the ancient world.” He nor NBC has yet responded to the backlash from the bust.




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