JK Rowling had little time for people who were irked by Swaziland-born actress Noma Dumezweni being cast as Hermione in upcoming play Harry Potter and The Cursed Child this morning.
Responding to (a small pocket of) negative discussion of the casting, she tweeted: "Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione."
Whenever a beloved character has their ethnicity changed by a new casting, there is nearly always a mini furore over it among a portion of their fans (see: Idris Elba potentially playing James Bond).
But Dumezweni largely received an overwhelmingly warm response on social media this morning, following the formal announcement of her casting.
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
UPDATE: Hold up, maybe the logic isn't quite so airtight.
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
@anwen nobody has ever written that about a black person. No black person has ever gone white with shock ever. The expression doesn’t apply.— 8lb 6oz Baby Judesus (@judeinlondon) December 21, 2015
The above being said, regardless of whether Rowling had a white girl in her head when writing the character or not, casting her on stage as black is obviously fine, It's an adaptation!
Rowling said on Pottermore that she was “so excited” about the new castings for the play, and fans echoed her sentiments.
Many drew attention to the fact that a message of equality is at the core of the Harry Potter series, along with the fact that the books never once mention the colour of Hermione’s skin.
Luna Lovegood actress Evanna Lynch chimed in: “When I was cast ppl complained about my HAIR & it is people's <3 NOT their looks that matter.” (sic)
Um... So. Just seen my feed BLOW UP... What's THAT about?! !— MissNoma (@MissDumezweni) December 20, 2015
Tbh new Hermione is black, Harry looks like Ron, when I was cast ppl complained about my HAIR & it is people's❤️ NOT their looks that matter— Evanna Lynch (@Evy_Lynch) December 21, 2015
Interesting that some people find a black Hermione Granger harder to believe in than, you know, magic spells...— Mr HoHoHoldfield (@MrLROldfield) December 20, 2015
they cast a black hermione for the cursed child! and jamie parker is harry! i love this cast! pic.twitter.com/feByXZzbFh— anna leszkiewicz (@annaleszkie) December 20, 2015
My president and my Hermione are both black lol yasss— alexis nedd (@alexisthenedd) December 20, 2015
Jamie Parker, Paul Thornley and Dumezweni will take on the roles of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger respectively in the stage play, with the characters having aged into their thirties.
All three are seasoned pros, with Dumezweni having previously won an Olivier Award for her role in A Raisin in the Sun.
You can find everything you need to know about Harry Potter and The Cursed Child here.