With many taking to Twitter to discuss their opinions and reactions regarding the news that a black actress has been cast to play the infamous Hermione Granger in a new Harry Potter play, J.K. Rowling has herself has spoken out in support of the decision to cast actress Noma Dumezweni for the role.
“Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified,” the author tweeted in response to an outcry of fans insisting that Hermione was white in the books. “Rowling loves black Hermione,” she wrote, adding a kiss emoji. at the end.
The play is set to debut in summer 2016 in London, at the Palace Theatre, and is described to be a continuation of the popular novels and movie series.
While in the movies, Hermione was played by actress Emma Watson, J.K. Rowling defends that the skin color of the canonical character in the novel never merited a mention.
While plenty of fans have spoken out in the support of the casting, Dumezweni has still unfortunately been at the center of backlash online.
Back during the casting for the films, actor Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, had blue eyes, while the character in the novels had green eyes. As reported in an interview, green contact lenses were attempted in an effort to remain cohesive, but the actor had a terrible reaction to the lenses and they decided it was fine to carry on, so long as Harry resembled his mother in the film.
Efforts such as those are one small example that show you just how difficult it is to one) please everyone and two) create a perfect book-to-screen adaption. However, fans insisting that Hermione must be white, while there is no concrete evidence of such in the books, as pointed out by the author herself, is an excuse for racism and showcases even more the necessary and influential cultural impact Black Hermione will have.
Collection of fan art via Instagram.