“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” was confronted with racism early on. The reason for this is the very diverse cast of the Amazon Prime Video series. But the studio supported its actors and actresses.
- “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” faced a huge wave of racism because of its diverse cast.
- The hostility was so bad that the cast members were threatened, harassed and coerced.
- To support the cast of the fantasy saga against this hate, Amazon Prime Video provided the actors with a therapist as a contact person.
People can be cruel and so they hurl hatred at you based on skin color, gender or other banalities. The cast of the Amazon Prime Video series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” also had to experience this.
Due to the very diverse cast, some people felt it necessary to insult, threaten, or even harass the actors and actresses as well as the production team behind “The Rings of Power”.
Especially the black actors and actresses felt this hatred. Some Tolkien “fans” questioned whether there had been People of Color in Middle Earth. The racism against the cast of “The Rings of Power” became so intense that Amazon brought a therapist to the set to support those affected.
One in particular felt the racist hate against the series, actor Ismael Cruz Córdova (“The Mandalorian”). He embodies the elf Arondir in the fantasy saga and was thus the first black elf shown in the franchise.
In an interview with the U.S. magazine “Variety,” Córdova talks about his experience with hatred and how the therapist was able to help him and his colleagues overcome it. He did not speak to her himself, but her presence alone was a comfort to him.
However, the racist acts against the Amazon series were not limited to the Internet, nor were they limited to words. Some actors received death threats or were even physically attacked in some cases.
Despite this negative experience, Córdova does not want to give up his role Arondir. He fought hard to be allowed to embody the elf. To him, it was important to improve the “visibility and representation” of a character like his.
In addition to hate, Córdova also received a lot of support from the Internet. For example, not only did Amazon itself defend their series, but other well-known personalities and companies also threw their support behind the diverse cast of “The Rings of Power.”
Among them were Whoopi Goldberg and the “Star Wars” franchise, as well as “The Lord of the Rings” actors Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd and Sean Astin from the film trilogy.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” was not the first, and unfortunately not the only franchise to face racist remarks and actions because of a diverse cast.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” actress Moses Ingram (“The Queen’s Gambit”) faced similar fierce attacks when she was cast to play Reva. Even before the show aired, the makers of the series warned her that she would have to expect racism because of her skin color.
Similarly, series such as “House of the Dragon” and “Bridgerton” suffered because, contrary to the portrayal in the book, they cast roles with people of different ethnicities. Although Córdova had expected backlash against his casting as Arondir as a result, the level of hatred was still overwhelming for him.
All the stronger is the studio’s sign that they support their performers and are not ignoring the hostile voices, but are rallying to fight back. Be it with supportive statements in public or psychological support for their actors and actresses.
The fact that “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” was renewed for a 2nd season despite strong reactions shows that the hateful voices are loud, but not as numerous as they seem.