June 6, 2016


J.K. Rowling Shuts Down Critics Angry Over Casting of Black Hermione

Getty Images, Pottermore.com
Getty Images, Pottermore.com

J.K. Rowling is taking aim at all the critics who are angry over the recent Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play cast, specifically the casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermione. In an interview with The Observer, the author shared her thoughts on choosing the black actress for the role.

Rowling stated, “With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot. But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job.”

The author continued,

“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. 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.”

John Tiffany, the play's director, also commented on the critique: 

“I am not as Twitter-familiar as Jo and Jack, so I hadn’t encountered its dark side, which is just awful. But what shocked me was the way people couldn’t visualise a non-white person as the hero of a story. It’s therefore brilliant that this has happened.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open at the Palace Theatre London next month, with the script being released via Scholastic worldwide on July 31.