J.K. Rowling has had it with “racists” attacking her casting choices. Most recently, the best selling author gave “absolute blessing” to a Black actress playing Hermione Granger (previously played by Emma Watson) in the London stage production “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” opening the door to a bout of disturbing remarks.
“I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’—that is, lost color from her face after a shock—that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with,” Rowling told the U.K. newspaper The Observer on Sunday, June 5. “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.”
Set 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rowling’s last publication is set to star Noma Dumezweni, a Swaziland-born, Olivier Award-winning British actress. Although Rowling anticipated some push back, the criticism was enough to fire back at commentators. “With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot,” continued Rowling. “But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job.”
Of course, this isn’t he first time Rowling has had to defend Hermione’s casting. Back in December, she tweeted, “Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione.”
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” set to open officially in July, focuses on Harry Potter as a father of three and an “overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic.” Potter “grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs,” while “his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted.” Meanwhile, novelized version is set for release on July 31.