Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling expressed her frustration over ‘a bunch of racists’ who disapproved of a black woman playing Hermione Granger on West End’s ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’.
In an interview to The Observer, Rowling told off online critics for their perspective:
“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. 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.”
Late last year, British actress Noma Dumezweni was announced to play the role of adult Hermione in the theater production, along with Jamie Parker and Paul Thornley bagging the roles of adult Harry Potter and Ron Weasley respectively.
Emma Watson, the actress who played Hermione Granger in the series’ film adaptation, also approved of Dumezweni’s casting. She tweeted her excitement over the announcement earlier this year:
The author also clarified that she never described Hermione’s race in the books, therefore the character was open to interpretation. She also noted that most Hermione fan art usually depicted her as a black woman.
Previews of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ are now available, but the opening performances will be on July 30, 2016. The two-part play will be directed by John Tiffany, with a script written by Jack Thorne in collaboration with Rowling herself.