Saturday 24 February 2018

Complaints about a black Hermione are racist, says 'Potter' writer Rowling

Harry Potter author JK Rowling. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
Harry Potter author JK Rowling. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Leon Watson

JK Rowling says those objecting to a black Hermione in the new Harry Potter play are a "bunch of racists".

Following online criticism of the casting, the author hit back, saying it was always possible the character could be black because skin colour was never mentioned in the books.

The role in the latest instalment of the series, a two-part West End play called 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', will be played by Noma Dumezweni, an Olivier Award-winning actress cast by director John Tiffany. Rowling said she fully supported the casting.

Speaking to 'The Observer', Rowling said: "Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job. When John told me he had cast her, I said, 'Oh, that's fabulous' because I'd seen her in a workshop and she was fabulous."

Rowling added: "I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione 'turned white' - that is, lost colour 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."

The character was portrayed by Emma Watson in the films. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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