J.K. Rowling Blasts Racist Critics Of Black Hermione
J.K. Rowling is standing strong in her support of the casting of Noma Dumezweni as the adult version of Hermione in the new play “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.”
According to The Guardian reports:
The production, which has broken records by selling 175,000 tickets in 24 hours, is tipped to be the theatrical event of the year. But the Harry Potter creator criticized those who have suggested that Hogwarts’ studious heroine could not be played by the Olivier-award-winning actress Noma Dumezweni.
“With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot,” she said in an interview with the Observer. “But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job.”
While the vast majority of people responded positively to the casting decision, Rowling said: “I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”
Well glad that is settled. SMH. What is wrong with people? When will they learn that when it comes to fiction and film/stage/tv casting race doesn’t have to be fixed!
Here’s more info on the production:
Dumezweni was cast by the play’s director, John Tiffany – known for the productions Black Watch and the musical Once – who has collaborated with Rowling and the playwright Jack Thorne, writer of This Is England and The Last Panthers.
Tiffany said he was surprised by the opinions expressed online, but had stopped reading the comments. “I am not as Twitter-familiar as Jo and Jack, so I hadn’t encountered its dark side, which is just awful. But what shocked me was the way people couldn’t visualize a non-white person as the hero of a story. It’s therefore brilliant that this has happened.”
Rowling has pointed out that there is no reason why Hermione should be white. The books don’t explicitly mention her race or skin color, and she is often portrayed as black in fan art.
The play’s creators have remained tight-lipped about the plot, releasing only brief clues on social media and the Pottermore website. The story is expected to pick up where the seventh, and final, book left off – Harry is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic and married with three school-age children. The play will focus on Harry’s youngest son, Albus, who “must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted”.
We are loving how all the people behind the play are so progressive! For the Bossip fam in London, are you excited to see this play??? And for the Americans — if it comes here, who would you want to play Hermione?