LOTR: The Rings Of Power Star Explains How The Show Dealt With Intense Racist Backlash: 'The Voices Were So Loud'

Ismael Cruz Córdova as Arondir in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video )

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power has been a controversial topic since it was first announced. Tolkien fans were concerned from the beginning about a series that wasn’t based on any of the actual novels, but that topic fell by the wayside when casting for the show begin to be revealed. There was a significant racist backlash to Rings of Power's diverse cast and star Ismael Cruz Córdova admits that dealing with it all has been tough. Luckily, the cast had help dealing with it all on set.

Córdova tells Variety that there was an actual therapist on set to help the cast deal with the onslaught of issues they were dealing with. The actor says the therapist was truly necessary because the “voices were so loud.” Hearing him talk about the way the whole situation made him feel makes it clear how needed this was. Córdova explained…

It had a psychological and mental health impact. That’s something that I’m very, very open about so that people understand that what they do and say online really hurts people, really has an impact on us.

We’ve seen so many actors of color forced to deal with racist responses to their casting, and while they so often try to make it look like it doesn’t bother them at all, it’s hard to imagine that the constant onslaught doesn’t have an emotional impact. Even after the show was released the issues didn't go away as Rings of Power was review bombed by unhappy people. 

Halle Bailey, who will appear in this weekend's The Little Mermaid remake, was another actor forced to deal with racist backlash. While Bailey also saw positive cases of public support for being a role model, that may not drown out the noise entirely. 

And in Ismael Cruz Córdova’s case, it wasn’t just the mental health problems that came from racists on social media. The actor says that there were attempts from some corners to do actual damage, through hacking attempts and literal death threats. However, the actor, and the rest of the Rings of Power cast, have seen their way through it, and are working on a new season of the show. He continued…

My phone got hacked. I had bank account attempts of being hacked. My PayPal got hacked. My friends got messages. I got death threats. I got things mailed to me. People found out my address. It was a lot of that. We’re still here.

Considering the massive investment that Amazon made in their new Lord of the Rings series, it’s perhaps not shocking that the studio would do what it could for its cast, but it’s also great to see that level of support for the people that have to deal with nightmares like this. While it may have had an initial negative impact, it does seem everybody is working through it and trying to make a great show. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.