Black actress cast as Hermione in ‘Harry Potter’ draws mixed reviews

 

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.      

 

And in today’s culture of political correctness, woe to anyone who questions the production’s choices.
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Some fans argued that author, J.K. Rowling, never specified Hermione’s race, while others focused on the very existence of the debate.

 

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.

 

 

Frieda Powers

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