The cast of Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power have released a statement slamming “the relentless racism, threats, harassment and abuse” aimed toward some of the show’s cast from the public on social media.
The statement was written by the show’s actors and was shared via Rings of Power’s Twitter page today (September 8th). It is a response to the backlash the series received online regarding the diversity of its cast. In the statement, the actors address the treatment that “some of [the] castmates of colour are being subject to.” The cast, which includes POC actors Ismael Cruz Cordova, Sophia Nomvete and Lenny Henry, stated that they “refuse to ignore or tolerate it.”
The message then goes on to reference the inclusivity and “fellowship” that plays a major role in J.R.R Tolkien’s (the writer of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy) fantasy universe, stating that “Middle-earth is not all white” and that “BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and are here to stay.” The statement concludes with the cast thanking the show’s fans, particularly “fans of colour,” who have also been attacked for their support.
“Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural. A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together… to defeat the forces of evil,” the statement read. “[POC fans] you are valid, you are loved, and you belong. You are an integral part of the LOTR family – thanks for having our backs.”
Prime Video also shared the sentiment across their social media, with the streaming service accompanying the statement with the caption: “We stand in solidarity with our cast.” Prime Video also took to Instagram to share a quote from Head of Amazon Studios Jen Salke, who said that while “we welcome discussion” around the show, “we will not condone racism of any kind.”
Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood and Billy Boyd, who all appeared in the original LOTR trilogy, took to Twitter in support of the Rings of Power cast. The trio shared an image of themselves wearing shirts featuring elf ears in various skin tones. Translated from the fictional elf-tongue, the shirt reads: “you are all welcome here.”