— Baz Bamigboye (@BazBam) December 20, 2015
News out of London about the cast of the next installment of the Harry Potter series has fans debating the race of one of the characters. Hermione Granger’s character, played by actress Emma Watson in the films, has been awarded to a black actress, Noma Dumezweni, in the upcoming theater production, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
The story takes place 19 years after the last book, focusing on the lives of now grown-up Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, as well as Potter’s son, Albus. Though the characters have all gone through physical transformations as they have aged, the part of Hermione is a complete departure from the film’s representation.
The Daily Mail reported:
However, Rowling never made a point of Hermione’s ethnicity, and there’s no textual evidence to indicate that she is, necessarily, white. Hermione is described as having unruly brown ‘bushy hair’, which she hates. In fact there are screeds of essays and scholarly works arguing that Hermione could be black. One piece observed that she was born to Muggle, non-wizard, parents and was considered an outsider at Hogwarts – and coded as a racial minority in the wizarding world. At Hogwarts, Hermione was often taunted as a ‘Mudblood’, an insult thrown at Muggle-born wizards.
Fans of the franchise had mixed reactions, ranging from acceptance – even applause – to confusion over the inconsistency.
THEY CAST A BLACK HERMIONE???? *BURSTS INTO BLACK GIRL MAGIC TEARS* https://t.co/QH7Jonsw5W — Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) December 20, 2015
The issue with Hermione’s race lies in the discontinuity. If Hermione was black in the films (+book covers) no one would be saying anything. — Pottermore News (@PottermoreNews7) December 20, 2015
And in today’s culture of political correctness, woe to anyone who questions the production’s choices.
Some fans argued that author, J.K. Rowling, never specified Hermione’s race, while others focused on the very existence of the debate.
I love how Hermione being black is somehow more implausible to some people than a universe where the entire postal system depends on owls — Snukes (@QueerDiscOx) December 20, 2015
Interesting that some people find a black Hermione Granger harder to believe in than, you know, magic spells… — Mr HoHoHoldfield (@MrLROldfield) December 20, 2015
The highly-anticipated play, which is set to officially open London in July 2016, has already sold more than a quarter of a million tickets, according to the Daily Mail.
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