Culture

‘The Lord of the Rings’ Cast Speaks Out Against Racist Critics

Stars of Amazon series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power have issued a statement against racism from public commentators.

Cast members of Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are speaking out against racist threats, abuse and harassment they’ve experienced during the series. On Wednesday night (September 8), the LOTR cast issued a collective statement seven days after its premiere.

“We, the cast of Rings of Power, stand together in absolute solidarity and against the relentless racism, threats, harassment and abuse some of our castmates of color are being subjected to on a daily basis. We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it,” the statement reads.

“JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multicultural. A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. Rings of Power reflects that. Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white. Bipoc [Black, Indigenous, and people of color] belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay.”

When a trailer for the Amazon Prime show debuted in February, some YouTube commenters angrily opined on the series including actors of color. To eschew “review bombings” and “anti-woke” backlash,  Amazon Prime has recently suspended user reviews up to three days to prevent negative and racist comments.

“All our love and fellowship go out to the fans supporting us,” continued the statement from The Rings of Power’s cast, “especially fans of colour who are themselves being attacked simply for existing in this fandom. We see you, your bravery, and endless creativity. Your cosplays, fancams, fan art and insights make this community a richer place and remind us of our purpose. You are valid, you are loved, and you belong. You are an integral part of the LOTR family – thanks for having our backs.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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Jaelani Turner-Williams

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