Mar

30

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Hermione is the new black

Here is the indeniable proof that all that guff about black Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was in fact a large quantity of agenda-driven bullshit.

Reminder:

JKR2

A cast change has just been announced. Behold the new Hermione Granger, Rakie Ayola:

Back Row (left to right) James Howard (Draco Malfoy), Emma Lowndes (Ginny Potter), Jamie Glover (Harry Potter).
Front Row (left to right) Thomas Aldridge (Ron Weasley), Rakie Ayola (Hermione Granger), Helen Aluko (Rose Granger-Weasley), Theo Ancient (Albus Potter), Samuel Blenkin (Scorpius Malfoy). Photography by Manuel Harlan.

So, for the second year in a row, the best actress they could find just happens to be black (and her daughter must therefore be black as well). Meanwhile, the best actors for all the other parts just happen to be white – again. Do the production people actually take us for complete idiots?

I do wish Rowling had been honest about her intentions. If she had just said: “Look, I didn’t think about it at the time but I actually regret the lack of diversity in the Trio; it makes more sense to me that at least one of them isn’t white and Hermione is the perfect candidate. It brings balance to the Force to the story and quite frankly, anything that can empower black girls is a good thing”, I’m pretty sure the vast majority of fans would have accepted this and understood her reasoning. Instead she lied through her teeth because she couldn’t bring herself to own her decision.

I have a feeling this is the main reason for the backlash, not racism as she was so keen to proclaim; people know when they’re having the wool pulled over their eyes. Rowling was far, far too defensive about it even to fans who only wanted to calmly explain how they felt (see the tweet above). Her complete refusal to admit that this huge change after all these years (and all these films) suddenly turned everything upside-down and greatly affected how fans related to the character was incredibly off-putting.

I’m sure the official narrative for casting another black actress is “continuity”. Hahaha. Maybe Rachel Dolezal should have played Hermione in the films!

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