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Whoopi Goldberg Gets Real About Representation In Fantasy After Fans Complain About ‘Black Hobbits’ In LOTR: The Rings Of Power

Harfoots in Lord of the Rings: the Rings of Power
(Image credit: Prime Video)

The Lord of the Rings has a massive fanbase, so it wasn't a huge surprise that the Rings of Power TV series quickly set a record among shows on Amazon Prime, with 25 million people tuning in for the first episodes. However, with popularity comes scrutiny and the new LOTR prequel has faced a large amount of both, especially surrounding The Rings of Power’s diverse cast. Now, Whoopi Goldberg has entered the conversation and is calling out the viewers who are complaining about “Black Hobbits.” 

Rings of Power has been positively reviewed by critics, but it has been review bombed by people who don’t like the show because they say the diverse casting does not fit within LOTR lore. The discourse around the show has also been massive. For example, billionaire Elon Musk criticized the show, while The Sandman creator Neil Gaiman slammed Musk, supporting TROP's casting choices. Gaiman and Goldberg have similar views on the casting. Goldberg recently said on The View

We would like to see as many people represented in fantasy as exists. So all of y’all who have problems because there are Black Hobbits, get a job. Get a job. Go find yourself, because you are focused on the wrong stuff.

The show features a Black Elf, Black female Dwarf, and several Black Harfoots (a.k.a. the Rings of Power's version of Hobbits), along with a woman as the protagonist. All these characters have been targets of racist and sexist remarks from people claiming that they don’t fit into the lore of the franchise. 

The episode of The View also addresses the diversity in the new Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, where the richest man in Westeros is a Black man, played by Steve Toussaint. While neither the Lord of the Rings films nor Game of Thrones were particularly diverse, the franchises are now more inclusive with casting.

Whoopi Goldberg noted that both The Rings of Power and House of the Dragon take place in worlds that don’t exist in real life saying: 

The new Lord of the Rings series, the Rings of Power, and Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon are both massive hits, but they don’t exist in the real world. There are no dragons, there are no Hobbits, you know that.

She went on to talk about how the new Little Mermaid will have a Black actress playing Ariel and how the sea creatures can be literally any color, from pink to blue to purple. Therefore, anyone can be a mermaid, or any fantasy creature for that matter. Goldberg blatantly called out those who don’t believe that. 

There are the critics who said they were too woke, by adding diverse characters. Are you telling me Black people can’t be fake people too? Is that what you are telling me? I don’t know if there is a Hobbit club or if there will be protests, but people, what is wrong with y’all?

Many have spoken out about the rude comments made by these trolls. This includes the original Hobbits from the Peter Jackson films. Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, and Sean Astin all posed for photos in t-shirts and hats that had ears of all colors and shapes with the caption “You are all welcome here.” These original Hobbits along with Goldberg have made it clear that whether it’s fantasy or real life, all should always be welcome and included. 

The journey in Rings of Power continues this Friday, per the 2022 TV schedule. If you want to get in on the quest and the conversation, the show can be watched with an Amazon Prime subscription.  

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.