“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,” the Twitter post begins.
“We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it. JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural. 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.”
The statement assures, “Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay.”
The statement concludes by thanking “fans supporting us,” especially the “fans of colour who are themselves being attacked simply for existing in this fandom.”
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) September 7, 2022
This official statement echoes what so many other critics’ reviews have been saying about the Amazon series. They insist that negative reviews reflect a deeply racist worldview from fans criticizing the series simply for having black actors in lead roles.
However, the less-than-favorable reviews are more likely to mention weak character development, bad writing, and an overall failure to adhere to Tolkien’s original work. Most of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes don’t mention the race of the actors at all.
That hasn’t been enough to stop mainstream media from insisting that the main reason viewers don’t like “Rings of Power” is because of the diverse cast. Even the actors from the Peter Jackson “Lord of the Rings” adaptation have been speaking out on what they perceive to be racist criticism.
Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, and others posted to social media wearing hats and clothing that says in Elvish, “You all are welcome here,” with several ears of different characters in various color skin tones.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) September 7, 2022