This should surprise no one who uses the internet.
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The upcoming London production of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter spinoff play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is already being criticized for the actual stupidest possible reason: a black woman was cast to play Hermione Granger.
Noma Dumezweni has been cast for the role, which was played by Emma Watson in the Harry Potter movie franchise. The decision was officially announced in December, and it immediately brought out the racist trolls of the internet who took to Twitter to complain about the casting.
@HPPlayLDN Not being racist but how can a black woman play Hermione? This play has lost all credibility.
— Sean the Mondasian Cyberman (@WhoPotterVian) December 21, 2015
i'm offended by the casting of #CURSEDCHILD hermione is a white character. we may not make poc characters white so white should not be poc
— michelle (@1006michelle) December 20, 2015
Harry Potter‘s author, on the other hand, is perfectly OK with the decision. J.K. Rowling tweeted her support in response to the backlash, pointing out that in descriptions of Hermione in the books, her race is never specified.
Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione 😘 https://t.co/5fKX4InjTH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015
Rowling has also addressed fans’ complaints saying that in one scene in the books, Hermione “turns white from shock,” and therefore she must be a white woman.
“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. That, I have a great deal of difficulty with,” Rowling told The Observer. “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.”