J.K. Rowling has a message for any Internet “idiots” who took issue with the casting of black actress Noma Dumezweni as grown-up Hermione Granger in the forthcoming Harry Potter play:
“Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”
That’s what she told The Observer, in a new interview published Sunday, about the backlash Dumezweni’s casting inspired from some corners of the Internet.
“With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot,” Rowling, no stranger to interacting with people online, told the Observer.
“But what can you say? That’s the way the world is,” she said. “Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job.”
Rowling, 50, also expanded on her earlier support of Dumezweni’s casting, which she tweeted in December soon after the news broke.
“I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost color from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with,” Rowling said. “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 and enthusiasm.”
Dumezweni has received support from other stars, too: Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter films, tweeted her excitement about the news in January.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a two-part play, opens in London in July, with preview performances beginning Tuesday.