The new Rings of Power series has been a popular topic of discussion of late. Unfortunately, while there are a lot of fans of the new Tolkien-inspired series focusing on how much they love it, a lot of the focus has been on a vocal minority that have chosen to make the race of the actors involved the core of their criticism. Many, including the Rings of Power cast, have spoken out against the intolerance. And it turns out the cast was very much ready for it.
The cast of Rings of Power, as well as stars from Lord of the Rings have come out in support of show’s casting, but of course, that’s only something that needed to happen because of the outcry that happened in the first place. Charlie Vickers, who plays Halbrand in Rings of Power recently spoke with The Guardian, and revealed that the cast was well aware of what the response to the show would be from some corners of the internet, to the point that they actually met beforehand to discuss how they would respond when the racist backlash eventually hit. Vickers explained…
While Rings of Power is inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, most notably, The Silmarillion, many of the characters in the show are wholly original creations, while others are barely mentioned in anything the Lord of the Rings author wrote. Still, since Tolkien characters have traditionally been portrayed as white, there are those who have a problem seeing them as anything but, and Rings of Power has been review-bombed, despite getting overall positive notes from critics and other fans.
The primary focus of the online hate has been a pair of actresses Sophia Nomvete, a Black actress who plays the dwarf Disa, and Ismael Cruz Córdova, a Puerto Rican actor who plays the elf Arondir. Both have spoken out about the hate they have had to endure following their casting.
It’s utterly depressing, but certainly not surprising, that the cast of Rings of Power felt the need to discuss how to deal with racist backlash before the racist backlash ever happened. This was far from the first time that an actor has seen hate from the internet for the simple fact that they did not physically match how a character was previously perceived by an audience. It seems any time non-white actors are cast in a popular franchise we get something like this.
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