Race Debate: J.K. Rowling’s Black ‘Hermione’
Is this a case of deja vu?
Recall the 2012 drama when The Hunger Games debuted in theaters and cast Amandla Stenberg as “Rue.”
Social media went ablaze with “disgust” that a Black girl was portraying an integral role in the film. It was a role ambiguously described in the book as having “dark skin.” Lenny Kravitz received the same scrutiny for his role as “Cinna” in the film.
Then, we saw the race debate surface when Michael B. Jordan landed the role of superhero Johnny Storm, in Fantastic Four. Followed, by John Boyega, who snagged a lead in the cult classic Stars Wars, released in theaters on Friday. Both actors took to press to address the criticisms and limited imagination when it comes to diversifying Hollywood and creating out of the box.
Now, we have a group of disgruntled “Harry Potter” fans lashing out at J.K. Rowling for casting South African actress, Noma Dumezweni as “Hermione” in the upcoming theatrical production, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
— Amy Coupe (@Coupeface) December 21, 2015
Though, Rowlings responded stating that the ethnicity of Hermione was never specific in the book, Potter fans posted a sentence from the book that read the following:
Like, I’m all for erasing white characters in fiction since white ppl erase PoC from actual IRL history ALL THE TIME pic.twitter.com/11gNklJFyA
— 8lb 6oz Baby Judesus (@judeinlondon) December 21, 2015
Regardless of how the books read, when did it become wrong for creators to switch things up? Especially when certain roles aren’t necessarily defined by the color of a person’s skin.
Why is it so hard to respect the creative process and applaud those who earned opportunities based off of their talent and not simply because the job called for a white or brown face? Sound off in the comments.