Two recently debuted streaming fantasy shows made efforts to diversify the casting process.
But once again, some fans—almost exclusively White, heternormative males—are hoppin' mad about it.
Amazon's Rings of Power and HBO Max's House of the Dragon have both debuted to ravenous fanbases, but both shows have come in for heated criticism from certain viewers because their casts include actors of color.
On a recent episode the The View, moderator Whoopi Goldberg addressed the uproar, laying into critics with a rant that perfectly laid out the absurdity of their plainly racist outrage.
See her take below.
Both Rings of Power, a prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series, and House of the Dragon, a prequel to HBO's Game of Thrones, caused an uproar among certain fans who have decried the inclusion of non-White actors in fictional, fantasy worlds as "unrealistic."
They claim in the case of Rings of Power, J.R.R. Tolkien never intended for Middle-Earth to be populated by characters of color, despite Tolkien's descriptions of certain characters as having "browner skin."
Fans are so outraged they have even gone so far as to "review bomb" the shows on Rotten Tomatoes with negative reviews, creating wide disparities between their critics' scores and fan scores, and hurling racist abuse online at non-White cast members like House of the Dragon actor Steve Toussaint.
Goldberg found this criticism beyond the pale, quite rightly. These are fantasy worlds, after all, so there is no reality to be reflected in their adaptations.
“There are no dragons. There are no hobbits."
"Are you telling me Black people can’t be fake people too? Are you telling me Black people can’t be fake people, too? ...people, what is wrong with y’all?”
Goldberg went on to reference a previous uproar over Black actor Halle Bailey being cast as mermaid Ariel—another entirely fictional character whose very species doesn't even exist in real life—in the forthcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
Goldberg positioned the moves toward diverse casting as an opportunity to create fantasy worlds that reflect our own.
“There are mermaids of every ilk. And you know why there can be? Because it’s the world that we would like to see better. We would like to see as many people represented in fantasy as exist.”
On Twitter, many applauded Goldberg's take-down of the controversy.
Goldberg ended her commentary with some recommendations for racist trolls:
“All of y’all who have problems because there are Black hobbits? Get a job! Get a job!"
"Go find yourself, because you are focused on the wrong stuff.”