Following The Rings of Power receiving racist backlash online, the original cast from The Lord of the Rings have begun speaking up about the issue and are calling on the LOTR community to embrace the inclusivity of the show.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is facing criticism from some viewers who believe the casting and inclusion of people of color is not in line with the original source material created by author J.R.R Toklein. Specifically, these individuals have been taking issue with Ismael Cruz Córdova casting as Elven warrior Arondir.
In light of this backlash, Cruz Córdova has recently opened up about the racist trolls on social media that he has encountered, detailing how these individuals have only spoken “pure and vicious hate speech” towards him.
In an interview with Esquire, Cruz Córdova admitted that this potential backlash is part of why he “fought so hard for this role,” adding that “I felt that I could carry that torch.
“I made sure that my elf was the most Elven, the most incredible, because I knew this was coming.”
As a way to combat this line of thinking, some of the main actors from the original The Lord of the Rings films have come together.
Elijah Wood kicked off the messaging, posting an image of himself, Billy Boyd, and Dominic Monaghan with the caption “you are all welcome here.” In the image, the three LOTR actors can also be seen sporting t-shirts that feature the ears of the Middle-earth creatures in a variety of skin tones, with the post then including a link to purchase the top.
50% of the proceeds from the shirt sales will go towards a “charity (to be selected by Don’s community) that support POC.”
Soon after this initial post, co-star Sean Austin also tweeted out an image that included the message “you are all welcome here.” Austin was also sporting a cap that included the same design as the t-shirt, linking the item in the tweet in a similar fashion to Wood.
The Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and is set in a world thousands of years earlier than what the original trilogy was. The first two episodes have already dropped.
In Dexerto’s review of the first episode, we wrote that Rings of Power is “looking to be more akin to Peter Jackson’s work than anything else.”