Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has finally arrived and, with it, has sadly come a wave of backlash from some viewers. Since its premiere, a number of viewers have taken to social media to express their displeasure, with some having made racist or misogynist remarks about certain characters. In turn, a number of fans have spoken out to condemn the comments that have been made. Now, the latest to stand up against the toxicity are none other than OG franchise star Elijah Wood and some of his co-stars/fellow hobbits.
Elijah Wood, lovingly known to fans for playing hobbit Frodo Baggins, teamed up with former Lord of the Rings co-stars Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd – who played Meriadoc Brandybuck and Pippen Took, respectively – to respond. Wood shared a photo to Twitter, which showed him and his colleagues sporting shirts that feature ears with various shades and an inclusive message written in Black speech. Check it out down below:
You Are All Welcome Here @LOTRonPrime @DonMarshall72 #RingsOfPower https://t.co/8txOhlHa2f pic.twitter.com/nWytILT0zGSeptember 7, 2022
I think “You Are All Welcome Here” is a message that just about all of us can get behind. The sentiment would be sweet coming from anyone, but it’s comforting that some of the franchise’s biggest stars are totally supportive of The Rings of Power and its characters. And on top of that, Sean Astin – who famously played Samwise Gamgee – also weighed in on Twitter. The beloved actor shared a photo of himself and, in it, he sports the same saying. Take a look for yourself:
You are all welcome here.#RingsOfPower @LOTRonPrime #MiddleEarth #Samwise @ElijahWood @BillyBoydActor @DomsWildThings @DonMarshall72 https://t.co/w2tdZ4nFwN pic.twitter.com/f4RsBKE9anSeptember 7, 2022
Sean Astin, Elijah Wood and co. have a lot of love for J.R.R. Tolkien’s widely popular fantasy saga. Wood, who went to great lengths to get the role of Frodo, has shown love to the franchise quite a bit since Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy ended years ago. Astin also has fond memories from his time working on the acclaimed films and has also spoken about why he thinks fans connect with Sam. Considering all of this love and respect, it’s not surprising that they would support the series as it aims to be more inclusive.
The Rings of Power notably features a Black elf and a Black female dwarf, which is a fresh direction for the classic franchise. On top of the racist remarks, the show’s lead character, Galadriel (played by Morfydd Clark), has also been the target of sexist sentiments. The show was getting review bombed so hard that Amazon stepped in and disabled reviews on Prime Video. Despite the response from some viewers, the Lord of the Rings show has received favorable reactions from critics, and notable creatives like Neil Gaiman have come to the streaming show’s defense.
There’s definitely no room for any kind of prejudice when it comes to The Lord of the Rings, and any critiques motivated by specific biases shouldn’t be tolerated. Elijah Wood and co. clearly understand that, and I wouldn’t be surprised if even more of their former co-stars follow suit in showing support.
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Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.