The Internet Troll Invasion Of Middle-Earth, Explained
Source: Yahoo Movies – UK
Another high-profile Hollywood franchise, another case of online trolls complaining about the film or television show’s inclusive cast.
Amazon’s mega-budgeted The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is the latest tentpole to draw the ire of racist “fans,” following similar uproars in recent years to various Star Wars projects, the recent Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon, Netflix’s The Sandman, upcoming Percy Jackson and Little Mermaid reboots, and on and on and on.
Here’s everything you need to know about our latest bout with toxic fandom.
Why is there an uproar?
Beyond the obvious answer (good ol’ fashioned racism), the justifications for all the vitriol range from precedent to the idea of “faithfulness.” While the casts of Peter Jackson’s previous film trilogies, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, were nearly all white, the prequel series The Rings of Power — based on the appendices of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary novels — are far more diverse (even if the majority of the sprawling cast is still white). Black British actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson plays Míriel, the queen regent of Númenor. Puerto Rican actor Ismael Cruz Córdova plays the elf Arondir. British-Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi plays his love interest, the human healer Bronwyn. Black British actor-comedian Lenny Henry and Sri Lankan actress Thusitha Jayasundera play the harfoots (ancestors of the hobbits) Sadoc and Malva, respectively.
Fans upset with the series’ casting typically claim “historical accuracy,” citing that Tolkien modeled Middle-earth after medieval Britain and other European lands. As The Gamer’s Ben Sledge points out, however, “the assumption that all people in this region were white stems from 19th Century white nationalism in Germany, and later Nazi propaganda.” And, notes The Hollywood Reporter’s Richard Newby, “This ignores the individuals of color who have populated England throughout its history, and that the first modern Britons had dark skin, based on DNA evidence taken from the Cheddar Man, a 10,000-year-old skeleton discovered in 1903.”…
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