Potterheads completely lost their chill when they found out that J.K. Rowling had a new book in the Harry Potter series coming out. Then they freaked out some more when they found out Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is indeed a play, which will be opening in London at the Palace Theater this year. Around the time they got to wondering who was going to play all of their favorite characters, a much uglier Internet furor started when the cast was finally announced.
The character of Hermione Granger, cast as Emma Watson in the film series, had been cast. Hermione was to be played by actress Noma Dumezweni, who is a black woman. Oh lord. The reaction was more or less what you expect in a world full of racist fools with Twitter accounts. J.K. Rowling responded to the outcry at the time politely, but did clarify that Hermione could be any race:
With the play set to open soon, Rowling shared in an interview with The Observer exactly what she thinks of Dumezweni and all the haters:
“With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot… But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job. When John told me he’d cast her, I said, ‘Oh, that’s fabulous’ because I’d seen her in a workshop and she was fabulous… I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour 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.”
There you have it. J.K. Rowling invented the world you love, and she can see Hermione as any color. She can also see that you’re a racist idiot, egg-avatar guys everywhere. Accio Shutdown.