JK Rowling on casting for Harry Potter play: ‘white skin was never specified’

What’s that sound? The sound of happy fans rejoicing that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is coming to the West End. The two-part play, written by Jack Thorne, is based on a yet-unpublished book by JK Rowling. A majority of the shows, which run until May 2017, have already sold out. The cast was just announced with Jamie Parker playing Harry Potter, Noma Dumezweni playing Hermione Granger and Paul Thornley playing Ron Weasley. Noma, an Olivier Award-wining, British actor currently starring as Linda, the lead, in Raisin in the Sun, will be the first black Hermione cast in a Harry Potter production. The response has been generally very positive about the amazing cast of veteran stage performers bringing their beloved characters to life.

However, plenty of trolls have Twitter accounts. What do you do when people call an excellent casting choice “idiotic”? You go get Mom. JK Rowling took to Twitter and shut naysayers down; nobody ever said Hermione was white. Period.

If there was any misunderstanding about Hermione Granger’s appearance, J.K. Rowling is setting the record straight—she loves a black Hermione.

The 50-year-old acclaimed author of the Harry Potter series would not stand for any intolerance when it came to the casting for the upcoming stage production of a Potter-based play called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Inspired by one of Rowling’s original stories, the play features the trio of beloved wizards set 19 years into the future and will debut on the London stage this summer.

While fans are endlessly hungry for any addition to the classic storyline, some were not as thrilled to find out that the woman set to play Granger is British actress Noma Dumezweni, a South-African born award-winning British actress. Specifically, some complained her skin tone did not match the films’ depiction. Rowling defended the choice by simply revisiting her famous text.

“Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione,” the author wrote on Twitter.

She expressed her elation even further on her Pottermore website, stating, “I’m so excited with the choice of casting for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I can’t wait to see Jamie, Noma and Paul bring the adult Harry, Hermione and Ron to life on stage next summer.”

[From E! Online]

Race, creed and sexual orientation have no place in the Harry Potter world – they’re wizards! How can you argue with a person who cannot accept Hermione as black but who can accept flying brooms, talking paintings and headless ghosts?

Remember the hoopla over Rue in the Hunger Games? Or Captain America? And let’s not forget all the asinine reasons given as to why James Bond has to be white. There are precious few literary characters who have to be one race or another.

Many have long identified with Hermione as being a different or mixed race person and here she is. This is inspired, embracing all Hermione fans.

Fortunately, much of the fandom is pleased with Noma but they are concerned about Paul Thornley’s lack of gingerness. Jack Thorne has assured fans that “Paul’s ginger is in his soul.”

wenn22942955

J.K. Rowling to illuminate the Empire State Building

J.K. Rowling to illuminate the Empire State Building

photo credit: Wenn and Getty Images

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117 Responses to “JK Rowling on casting for Harry Potter play: ‘white skin was never specified’”

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  1. Babalon says:

    Yay!

  2. Sixer says:

    This has been going on and on for days, you know. Or perhaps it’s just that my Twitter echo chamber is bookish so it’s just what I see. Almost everyone is supportive and I think one or two obnoxious arsewipes have just invoked a torrent of eff offs. Such is the cycle of social media.

    Anyway, Noma Dumezweni is a great actor and will be great. Anyway, Hermione battles all the inequalities so a black Hermione isn’t just acceptable – it’s perfect casting. Anyway, so there.

    #fightthekyriarchynomahermione – or some other convoluted hashtag. That’s what I say.

    • mimif says:

      @Sixer, check out @AlannaBennett on Twitter, if you haven’t already. She’s got a pinned tweet from an article she wrote back in February, about how as a mixed raced kid she identified with muggle Hermione. It’s fantastic, as is her Twitter feed right now.

      • Sixer says:

        Looking now, thanks! And of course she did, you know? Hermione spends all those books battling multiple levels of oppression. Actually, it’s been great to see even little kids understanding this perfectly all over Twatter, which for once, was mostly behaving as Twitter. The Twatter kyriarchy has been soundly defeated on this one!

      • mimif says:

        Tweets like this were making my day:
        “Hermione works twice as hard, does the best job and doesn’t get any credit. Sounds like a young black woman to me.”
        And lol at Twatter, I almost wrote that in my OP but didn’t want to offend your delicate Britisherly sensibilities. 😜

      • Original Kay says:

        I think Hermione gets credit for her intelligence and courage in every novel. To say otherwise insults the author, which in my opinion is unjustified.

      • Sixer says:

        I like the idea of myself as a delicate Britisher flower, mimif. More please! ;)

        Kay – I don’t think anyone’s criticising Rowling or the books – just pointing out that the character of Hermione faces multiple axes of inequality over the course of them. I’m sure that was Rowling’s intent, too. (Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the Potter books for many reasons, but Rowling’s treatment of inequality isn’t one of them.)

    • Alexandra says:

      I wish though that JK wouldn’t have used the “but it’s never stated that she has white skin” argument, but instead emphasize on how because it’s a work of fiction, people are allowed to reinterpret it as they feel, as long as it keeps the essence of what made the source material so great. That’s why James Bond or Finn (From Star Wars) can be PoC – the color of their skin doesn’t alter the story in any shape or form and I embrace all these changes, including gender swaps, as long as gender/race isn’t a key factor in the work of fiction, like for instance in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. So even if Hermione would have been described as Caucasian, it would still be fine. If you can’t give an answer to the question: “But why does X have to be white/man?” other than “Because that’s the source material!”, then it’s probably because X CAN in fact be.

      • Goodnight says:

        I agree with this. I’ve always been annoyed by the arguments about Hermione’s race. Not the discussion about her race, the actual shit storms online.

        Who cares what colour the actress who plays her is, as long as she’s an awesome Hermione? I feel like people have been trying to ‘claim’ Hermoine as white, or as mixed race, or what have you since the dawn of time instead of just focusing on their own personal viewpoint being just that. Since she has no canon race, Hermione can be anything to anyone, but she doesn’t have to be that same thing to all other people. She should be able to be played by anyone who fits the part.

        I’m really pleased to see race wasn’t outlined for casting, though. I’m so hopeful more and more people casting in theatre, television and film will stop specifying race in casting calls.

      • TrixC says:

        I agree with this, the point is not really whether Hermione was explicitly written as a white character in the books, but the fact that her skin colour is not material to the story. How come no one ever complains that they cast Emma Watson in the films, who is conventionally beautiful, for a character who from the books is supposed to be a bit awkward looking?

  3. Lama Bean says:

    “How can you argue with a person who cannot accept Hermione as black but who can accept flying brooms, talking paintings and headless ghosts?”

    THANK YOU!!!!

    Re ginger casting: I feel like this role was MADE for Hiddleston. I’m sure this adorable man Paul whatshisname is going to be great though.

    • cannibell says:

      Yes yes yes! Brilliant, Hecate. You are becoming one of the brighter stars in my literary solar system.

    • Bettyrose says:

      I always said Hermione was miscast in the films. Emma Watson was too pretty/not nearly dorky enough and her hair was all wrong. Where was the internet outrage when they cast an actress who was prettier than the book character? Funny how that didn’t piss off these, er, literary purists eh?

      • Locke Lamora says:

        They couldn’t really predict how Emma will look like when she was 9 when sha was cast. And there were uproars over the fact that Emma was too pretty.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Actually, Locke, I’m referring to the first film, when she was 9 years old. I was a huge fan of the books at that point and hers was the only character that I felt was miscast, which seems relevant since that’s the character we’re discussing here. Over the years, I grew to like Emma Watson as an actress and she and Hermione really grew into each other, but my point was that Hemione’s major defining detail was her hair, not her complexion, so any protest now is disingenuous. We’ve already embraced an actress once who didn’t match the physical description in the book.

      • Breakfast Margaritas says:

        I find Emma Watson likeable but bland and plain. I have never meta person who thinks she is a great beauty or inappropriate for the Hermione character.

      • Liv says:

        I love Emma as Hermione. Maybe because I’m used to her, but still. That said I’m a shipper of the author. The author of James Bond wanted him to be white, so I don’t see why that should be changed. Rowling says that Hermione might be black, so I’m perfectly fine with a black Hermione. I just hope they stick to Ron’s red hair!

      • bettyrose says:

        I’m curious if there’s a difference in perception between those who first met Hermione in the books and those who first met her in the movies. I believe three books had been published before the first film, so by that point I had a really strong sense of Hermione in my mind. When the original movie came out, I saw it with a bunch of other HP geeks, and we all agreed that nearly everything in the film matched how we’d imagined the HP world, except for Hermione. I would say, though, that she and Emma Watson grew up together and by the fourth movie they had meshed.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I read the first 2 books a few weeks before I saw the first movie so they kinda meshed together from the start. However, I am the complete opposite – I liked Emma in the first 2, maybe 3 movies and then she got worse and worse.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      There is nothing wrong with black Hermione. But in general I am annoyed with the reasoning that if book is a fantasy one with headless ghost etc. then you must susbend your disbelief regarding everything. With well written fantasy books, films an TV-shows the magic aspects has their own rules and should make sense in context. And the rest works the same way it would in any realistic world. Saying that if a book has magic it is stupid to complain about anything is such silly way to think and makes disservice to the books when you can not take anything seriously.

  4. Mom2two says:

    I will never have an opportunity to see this play but Noma looks to have a stellar resume and Hermione’s race was never specified as Rowling said. I do agree, it’s off casting when the actor playing Harry is more ginger than Ron but that is what hair dye is for. I am sure he will be dyed red and Harry will be more of a brunette by the time showings start.

  5. Locke Lamora says:

    I always imagined Hermione as white because Emma Watson gradually became Hermione in my mind.
    But, I absolutely love this casting! As a diehard Potter fan I can’t wait for this play.

    • SugarQuill says:

      Die-hard Potter fan here as well! *waves*
      I also always imagined Hermione as white, although not because of Emma Watson (I was never really all that partial to her portrayal of Hermione, she seemed to play her in exactly the same snotty, know-it-all-ish way in all eight movies, showing no character development, nothing. And I find her to be quite a limited and one-note actress, but I digress). I guess the reason for me thinking of Hermione as white is… I don’t know really. I guess I do that a lot of the time unless I am explicitly made aware of a character’s race, which is not exactly something I’m proud of. Then I saw these racebent illustrations and interpretations of Hermione on Tumblr and it seemed stupid to me that I had never even entertained the possibility of Hermione being anything other than white.

      TL; DR: I am a moron and thumbs up for this casting! And here’s hoping that either the play or Rowling’s story on which the play is based will be published because I will probably have no way of seeing the play performed.

      • Joanne_S says:

        @SugarQuill
        I get what you’re saying a 100%. Where I live, there used to be virtually no people of color when I was growing up, there were always only us whites and a few ppl from Asia – I must’ve been in my teens when I saw a black person for the first time.
        So when I read The Philosopher’s Stone for the first time (around 12), I naturally assumed Hermione was white. And actually, same goes even for Dean Thomas and Lee Jordan, though maybe I should’ve known better (and had I been a bit older, perhaps I would have).

        Anyhoo, black Hermione makes all the sense to me now. I think my brain accepted that right away, so goodbye white Hermione, welcome POC Hermione!

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Oh, I completely agree about Emma Watson. I don’t like what she did with Hermione and she’s very limitrd as an actress ( her eyebrowes do most of the acting). It’s just that the first movie came out when I was 8 or 9 so they kinda merged together.

        I also imagine characters whose race is not specified as being white, and don’t know why. Maybe because we tend to imagine them similar to us? Or because I’m from a country where 99% of the people are white so I never saw people of other races in person when I was a kid? Or because most people in the media were white?

      • Joanne_S says:

        @Locke Lamora
        Are you Polish by any chance?? I saw you mentioned Hermione’s name being spelled with an A at the end, that’s how it was translated here. Obviously I was astonished to discover it’s actually HermionE, just like you were :)

      • SugarQuill says:

        @Joanne_S and Locke Lamora

        I’m in the same boat, 99% of the people where I live are white, so I guess the fact that we defaulted to a white Hermione definitely could have something to do with that. And the lack of representation of POC in the media as well. I suppose it’s a combination of the things Locke Lamora mentioned.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        @Joanne_S
        I’m not Polish, but I think they spelled it HermionA in most Slavic languages. And I won’t even go in to the weird ways I used to pronounce those names before I learned English :D

    • Pinky says:

      Also, she’s white on the (American) book covers. So there’s that. But her muggleness was a terrific allegory for racial, and even better, mixed-race struggles. So I always identified with that in some way. Now she and Ron are going to have truly mixed-race kids on stage, I guess. Might not matter in the Potterverse, since race is not an issue, mudbloodiness is, but it will be awesome to see….

      • Katydid04 says:

        Same. I read the books before there ever were the movies, and how I pictured the main three (Harry, Hermione, and Ron) were white, based on the book covers. Although they could have drawn them any way and I wouldn’t have cared.

    • Dean says:

      I would have thought her character would have stuck in your mind rather than her skin colour….or maybe that’s how you define character

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I guess some people just have nothing going on in their lives. Imagine being upset by the casting of a Harry Potter play.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      Well, if they cast someone who was a crappy actor I woukd be very upset. I’m part of the generation that grew up with HP and it was a huge part of my childhood. No book ever felt like Harry Potter.
      Luckily, the cast seems great.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I read HP as an adult, and it was magical.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I’m sure it was, GNAT. But I do wonder if my impression of it would be different if I read them now for the first time. I still read a lot of fantasy ( :cough: my nick :cough:) , and while I some of them are magical and I love them, they don’t feel the way HP felt, you know?

  7. Greenieweenie says:

    It blew my mind more to learn that the Brits pronounce her name Her-my-oh-nee as opposed to Er-mione, which is how I said it in my French-addled head.

    Black, white, who cares.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      The same happened to me when I learned it was HermionE and not HermionA the way it was spelled in the books translated to my language.
      Also, for the longest time I thought it was a name JK made up, and not an actual name.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        Me too, haha. I’ve been shocked to realize it’s actually a name in Britain, evidently.

      • Sixer says:

        It’s a Greek name, hence the pronunciation. Hermione is a figure in the Trojan wars and the Odyssey et al. Posh Brit aristos have traditionally used classical names for their offspring.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Sixer, that’s how I realised it was an actual name, when I stumbled upon it in history class. It was pretty shocking :D

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Also found in Shakespeare, which was how I knew it. It’s on my list of favorite names, along with Perdita.

      • Sixer says:

        See also: Daphne, Xanthe, Aphrodite, etc. British poshies like their classics!

    • Lucrezia says:

      I was pronouncing it the French way too. ER-mione.

      Well … I was trying to, but I can’t do that strong rolly “ER” the way the French can, so it was a pretty mangled effort. I actually find the English “Her-my-own-knee” version a bit easier to say.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        This is not related to HP but – we roll our r’s in my language so the way the r is pronounced in English is hands down the hardest thing about the language. Things like mnperor are so hard to say. Or the name Rory. Impossible.

  8. Jay says:

    I think reading the books I pictured Hermione as a white girl because I associate frizzy, fine hair with white people. But as long as the actress does a good job with the role, why do people care about her skin tone?

  9. Maya Memsaab says:

    Bet these trolls never protest when characters, or even entire histories, meant to be non-white are completely whitewashed. Funny that.

  10. Fallon says:

    It’s an unpopular opinion, but I just want JK Rowling to stop talking.

    I feel like all these additions, clarifications, extra tidbits that keep coming out years and years later… Just leave the series alone.

    • Manjit says:

      Yes, how dare she develop characters she created………………………………..

      • Fallon says:

        Because she conveniently seems to be developing them based on what’s in the news. Gay marriage? Dumbledore is gay! Someone mentions there’s no Jewish characters? She announces one on Twitter. People outraged because a black actress is cast? “I never said Hermione was white.” It strikes me as pandering.

        This is my personal opinion.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I always thought Dumbledore was gay, based on his relationship with Gellert Grindelwald.

      • cr says:

        IIRC, she mentioned that Dumbledore was gay because in the movies they were going to give him a girlfriend in a flashback. So she brought it up.

    • Tiffany says:

      Ummmm…..why?

    • Eleonor says:

      I bet if she didn’t reply there will be someone ready to say “she is the author she could at least say something”.

    • Pinky says:

      Look, I feel that way about Star Wars, so I get it. My solution? I don’t watch the prequels or sequel sequels. And all is right in my world. You have control over your childhood memories. Don’t read about it or pipe in and it will remain preserved. You’ll be fine.

      • Hazel says:

        There you go. I saw the first three star wars movies in theaters & have never had a wish to see the later editions. I’m not fond of ‘director’s cuts’ DVDs, either.

    • SloaneY says:

      I actually agree with this. Just leave it out there for everyone to have their own interpretation. That’s the wonderful joy of books.

    • Jaana says:

      I feel the same Fallon. Leave the books alone. She chose to end the series. Let it be.

    • M.A.F. says:

      At this point people have their own opinion about the characters/ stories so yes, I agree she doesn’t have to keep clarifying but I think in this case, she probably had to say something.

    • Paris says:

      I love it when J.K Rowling adds more to the series. She’s never added things as a convenient ooh this fits with my political message of the day. To me it’s pretty gross when fans decide they know more than she does. Fanfiction and theories are great but Rowling is the authority of Harry Potter. The things she adds makes sense. Dumbledore seemed attracted to Grindelwald based on his letter. Hermione I always pictured as white because I am white with brown hair and a book nerd and i expected her to look like me. Characters that she specifically described and gave a race to I pictured that way. Fanart of a race bent Hermione has always been really beautiful to me so a black Hermione in the play seems like a great idea. Now if Rowling would write a book on the Marauders I’d be all over that.

    • kate says:

      I agree. A while back she did an article about what various Harry Potter characters would think of the Israel/Palestine conflict. It was weird. She has a platform, she has a voice, I don’t know why she thinks she needs to filter her personal views through these characters she created. On Twitter she regularly writes along the lines of ‘Harry would think…’ ‘Snape would think…’ etc. when she’s very clearly just writing what SHE thinks.

      I don’t see anything wrong with pointing out that she never wrote that Hermione was white, but this is just one of many, many clarifications and additions she’s made this year alone. It’s getting a bit ridiculous.

  11. OSTONE says:

    Trolls will be trolls. What’s upsetting to me, as a die hard potter fan, is that the play won’t be coming to the US and I won’t see it :(

  12. LAK says:

    It’s very annoying when the public are so literal minded.

    There is no wrong or right in art.

    If fans are so inflexible that they can’t accept the best version of the art, then they deserve the crappy art they are given. And no complaining that the art doesn’t reflect them because their own inflexible view has rendered art one way.

    • Sixer says:

      I say this about colour-blind casting all the time, LAK. My interest in film, theatre and TV (we’ll leave books out since nobody argues that their primary purpose is to tell a story) is storytelling – either a new story or a take on an old story. Even if we leave all the important discussions about representation and inequalities out of the picture, I see colour blind (or gender blind, or any other blind) casting as a huge positive because it provides all sorts of opportunities for fresh takes on the tellings of stories. Storytelling should be a discussion of intent, not a slavish adherence to perceived detail.

      On this theme, I don’t know if you’ve seen Patience Agbabi’s take on the Canterbury Tales. I think you’d like it. Massive achievement. Here’s a snippet:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U-ozgjZfjQ

      • lilacflowers says:

        That was delightful. Thanks for a great start to my day.

      • LAK says:

        Sixer: as you know I work in TV and Film. These conversations are a permanent weekly fixture in my life.

        And just when I think we’ve done something good, the public let’s me down.

        The HP books have a lot of room for multi-racial casting. Just about the only group of characters that are definitively described are the students from Damstraum (sp?), home of Victor Krum and the french magical school (can’t remember it’s name).

      • woodstock_schulz says:

        @LAK – beauxbatons :) also, I agree with your first comment. Art is meant to be flexible, like a living thing, changing and growing

      • Sixer says:

        It must be infuriating, LAK. I’d be spitting tacks daily! As you know too, I work in the field of teen and YA books and I think they do a fabulous job, by and large, of responding positively to the changing world around them. It winds me up no end when all the good work is undone by a few idiots deliberately misunderstanding the intent behind everything. I don’t even like the Potter books much, but I’ll defend them vis a vis diversity to the ends of the earth, and Rowling for being open to interpretations of the details of the canon in service of her vision.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Ooh I love that entire comment.

  13. Mia4s says:

    It was always going to feel weird having new actors play these characters. I’d rather they cast a good actor than trying to match looks from the movie. This is a new story, not a remake (or cloning project).

  14. Soundlight says:

    GOOD GOD!!!!!!!!! WHO’S THAT THING IN THE TOP PIC. SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DOES THAT THING WANTS TO BE AN ACTOR *CCCCCCCRRRRINNNNGGGGGGGGEEE*

  15. Lucy says:

    This will be great! Personally, I’m sort of offended by the lack of ginger in the actor who’s playing Ron (not his fault, obviously) but I’ll get over it. And yay for black Hermione!

  16. Veronica says:

    A friend of mine has actually assumed for years that Hermione was at least mixed race. Something about a passing line about her skin being tanner in the earlier books (I couldn’t remember it myself) along with the hair. I always kind of thought she might have been ethnically Jewish, personally.

    But good on Rowling. The more people take skin tone as a consideration rather than an afterthought, the better.

    • mimif says:

      “They were there, both of them, sitting outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor — Ron looking incredibly freckly, Hermione very brown, both waving frantically at him.”

      -From Prisoner of Azkaban

      • Amie says:

        From Prisoner of Azkaban, to counteract any claims:

        “Hermione’s white face was sticking out from behind a tree.”

        In the same book, I also found at least two references to her being “pink-faced” from the cold. There’s also Ron’s suggestion of passing her off as one of his relatives (when Voldemort makes his return).

        Rowling lies. There are more than a few instances where she refers to Hermione’s “white face”.

    • Zaid says:

      I remember that line. It was because she was vacationing in France so when she went back to school she was a bit tan.
      I always pictured her white, butvmostly because the book covers showed her white. I think the only characters we know their race for sure could be the Weasleys, the Malfoys and Blacks, Lee Jordan and Dean(?)

      • Linn says:

        +Angelina Johnson is described as black

      • Zaid says:

        Oh, yeah! I forgot Angelina, and also the Patil twins, Zabini and Cho Chang. Aaaand not to forget auror and Minister of magic Kingsley Shacklebolt.
        And Seamus was irish.
        Perhaps there’s more but I don’t remember others that she clearly stated were certain race or ethnicity.

    • iheartjacksparrow says:

      I’ve never read any of the books, and only saw the first movie, but some people posting comments on DM are quoting a line from one of the books about her “white face.”

      • TrixC says:

        I’d say it’s pretty clear from the books that she was written as white, particularly when there are other characters who are written as black or other ethnicities. Rather than claiming she could have been black or mixed race all along, the better argument is that it’s not important to the story for her to be any particular race.

  17. Fluff says:

    Ugh so many racists. Thank god for Celebitchy. Most of the forums I go to, there are nasty comments. Disgusting. Noma is such a wonderful actress, I can’t wait for this. Have tickets for January 2017!!

    And ahem MY MATE IS PLAYING HARRY POTTER

  18. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    I’ve learned to be utterly dismissive of people who raise fits over characters being portrayed as less than the absolute perfection that is white.

    Sorry (and I don’t mean this to any well meaning people) but if the thought of Hermione in a play being played by another race fille you with dread you’re likely racist. It’s as good a time as any to learn this and try to do better.

  19. Daria Morgendorffer says:

    I didn’t even know this was a thing until I read about it the other day. It’s so damn disheartening to read that so many people were up in arms over Hermione being black. There are times I feel that we’ve come so far as a society, and then there are other times that I can’t believe how far we have to go.

  20. CK says:

    I wonder if those folks complaining would be praising the merit-based audition if the final actress chosen was white.

  21. Sof says:

    Those who always imagined Hermione as white, were likely influenced by this line from the third book:
    ‘Hermione’s white face was sticking out from behind a tree.’

    As for the play, do people really care this much about the casting? Personally I’m more intrigued by the story line.

  22. Marianne says:

    Even if her race was mentioned in the books, theater tends to colour blind cast a lot anyway. So *shrugs*.

    Plus the books also described Hermione as having buck teeth and its not like Emma had those in the movie so…..

  23. tegteg says:

    I always thought of Hermione as white when I read the books, because I’m white. However, I’m happy that there’s going to be a black Hermione. It’s important that girls of color have strong female characters that they can relate and look up to. There really aren’t enough roles for colored actors – especially females. As a white girl, I say to all other white (or nonwhites) who may be upset about this casting: get over it. There are plenty more white characters on and off screen you can watch/read about… or hey, just go watch the HP movies if you want to see a white Hermione. I’m happy about this :)

  24. cd3 says:

    God I love JK Rowling. Yesterday, Today, Forever.

  25. mira says:

    jk is as awesome as ever, noma is a brilliant actress, i have seen her in the theatre. great actress.

  26. duchesschicana says:

    Intentional or not it’s a smart PR move/marketing strategy, people are talking about the play that’s all that matters to JK Rowling and her investors in the play. JK has been marketing a lot since her website’s release. I probably going to get a lot of flame for this and it’s her world she has a right to do with it as she pleases, but She has become in my opinion too much of a brand and has nitpicked everything in her world so much so that she’s zapping the magic out of her world and leaving nothing to the imagination of fans. One can easily do without all the extra information of her world . She just doesn’t appeal to me as she once did.

  27. EM says:

    This is what JK Rowling says now, but throughout her novels, there were never any mixed relationships. She made sure all her main character paired up with ‘white’ other halves. Harry’s short relationship with Cho Chang was cut short and then suddenly he was with Ron’s sister. How was that even possible when there was no chemistry in the books? This is something Rowling is yet to answer and now she is all, ‘colour was never specified’. No dear, it wasn’t specified, but it was certainly implied.
    But of course now, it’s all about the PR.

    • Linn says:

      Cho and Cedric seemed pretty stable until he died.

      That said I think both Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny seemed pretty forced and added just so that they could all play one big happy family.

    • Tina says:

      I know this is absurd to comment on, because none of this is real, but the UK (where the books are clearly set, magic or not) is 87% white. There were enough explicitly PoC characters (Angelina, the Patil twins, Cho, Dean etc) that it was an accurate reflection of the society. Would it have been nice if at least one of the main characters had been described clearly to be a PoC, or in a romantic relationship with a PoC? Yes.

      But one forgets that the HP books (when all of the main characters were formed) began in the 1990s. Rowling was incredibly progressive, as a children’s book author, for the time. And that’s not even addressing any of the allegorical elements in the series (Hermione as a “mudblood,” Remus etc).

  28. mialouise says:

    Never seen JK before – she’s beautiful with lovely breasts!

    Yay black Hermione. Can’t believe people are pissed. I mean, we don’t have to force diversity – Superman doesn’t have to become asian lesbian Superperson – but there is nothing that changes the story once Hermione is black or any other race. If race is important to the story – eg a play about the civil rights movement – i can see considering the color of the actor.

  29. wow says:

    I love how Rowling just shut that crap down.

  30. Mira says:

    So for all those years with all those official illustrations and covers to the book having Hermione as white in them and with 8 movies where Hermione was played by white actress, J.K. Rowling never ever raised her voice, pointing out that Hermione wasn’t actually white, but was supposed to be black in the books and only know Rowling suddenly says Hermione wasn’t white?

    That’s BS.

    • Linn says:

      Rowling never said that Hermione was supposed to be black in the books or that people who imagined her as white are wrong, she just says it is possible for her to be black. That’s a difference.

      She just want’s to shut up the people who flood twitter with racist comments concering the casting of a black actress.

  31. raincoaster says:

    Some of the potterheads are seriously demented (see what I did there?). I saw one of them asking JK Rowling who she thought she was.