So, the Woke theologians associated with Hollywood are, as is almost always the case, whining and ranting about how racist White people are when they voice their disapproval of Hollywood’s recent lust affair with gratuitous racial recasting. In this case, it’s in response to the nigh overwhelming negative response to their inserting Black and Black-ish (Puerto Rican Trigueño) actors into roles in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Their imagined antagonists, be they the showrunners or casting agents, are purportedly spoiling and destroying something good, the commenters felt. How? Apparently by casting people of colour.
Featuring Ismael Cruz Córdova as an elf, Sophia Nomvete as a dwarf, Cynthia Addai-Robinson and Nazanin Boniadi as human characters, and Lenny Henry as a harfoot (an ancestor to the hobbits we’ve seen before), among several others, the new streaming series is bringing some of the first actors of colour to Tolkien adaptations—after six live-action films that went without, save for a few extras. In advance footage and within the first few episodes, it was made clear that these are meaningful roles in the ensemble cast.
Beneath assertions of fandom pride and purity seethes a maelstrom of abject racism. The now-deleted YouTube comment barrage is one strand in a much larger web of backlash, diligently stoked by subgroups of fans that seem hell-bent on tanking the series.— Sakeina Syed
But there is little to no racism inherent in disliking and castigating the improper insertion of race members who don’t match the original work in question. And, the Blacks and their Woke enablers have certainly never refrained from ranting about it, or even a too-White looking actor or actress is cast in their films.
So, on Córdova:
There are no dark-skinned Elves in Tolkien’s world. All Elves are pale complected and tend towards grey eyes and almost all have dark hair. Even the term Moriquendi (Elves of Darkness) only means that they never completed their migration to the Blessed Land and, hence, they never beheld the Light that was before the Sun and Moon. There’s no racial distinction and, hence, not even a shred of excuse for casting Córdova in the role.
But, on Boniadi:
Alright, they cast an Iraqi as native of the Southlands – what will become Mordor – is to my mind lacking in any issue. There’s little to no canon on what they people their looked like and their close enough to places in which the peoples were described as other than European-esque to make just about any casting not an issue.
And, on Nomvete:
Like Elves, their are no dark-skinned Dwarves in Tolkien’s world. They were always described as short, stocky, bearded Caucasians. This is hardly surprising since Tolkien roughly and loosely patterned them off of the Norse Dvergar, much as he patterned the Elves off of the Norse Ljósálfar
And, on Henry:
As much as I am and have been a fan of Lenny Henry, there are, once again, no Black hobbits – and yes, Harfoot are hobbits, just as Stoors and Fallohides were. Now, it is true that Tolkien described Harfoots as being darker skinned than the other “breeds,” it’s really doubtful that he meant any darker than some of the British or Continental ethnic groups with tanner complexions. But hey! Darker skinned is darker skinned, so there’s at least a shred of excuse for this casting choice.
And, Last but Worst, Addai-Robinson:
Yes, I skipped over the casting of Cynthia Addai-Robinson because it is the single most glaring, egregious, and stupid choice Hollywood made in The Rings of Power so far. Casting a Black as the ruler of Númenor is beyond the pale and throws out all of canon and Tolkien’s lore. It is the equivalent of casting a White as T’Challa – especially the T’Challa of the original comics.
All Númenóreans were tall, fair-skinned, dark-haired, and light-eyed. They were also strongly into maintaining racial purity, unless it involved Elves. Indeed, they didn’t mix much or well with the other Men in Middle-Earth for the most part, holding themselves above and apart from the Middle Men aka Men of Twilight. They even briefly deposed their first Mixed-Heritage King, Eldacar. A Black ruler? So very wrong and pure anti-White, woke bullshit.
Let’s face facts; only the Blacks and their anti-White, Oikophobic, Left-wing, enables and panderers think that racial recasting and inserting non-Whites into properly White roles is a good thing. And, they’re the only ones crying “RACISM!” when normal people complain about this example of “Cultural Appropriation.” The vast majority of us think what Hollywood is doing is grossly wrong, and we’re right to do so.
And, Tolkien’s works are a special case. They are fully and completely grounded in a fusion of Anglo-Saxon, Teutonic, and Norse culture and religion (What Christians would call mythology), which is no surprise since Mr. Tolkien was linguist specializing in Old and Middle English, both derivations in large of Anglo-Saxon, Teutonic, and Norse, albeit with heavy and profligate Latin and Latin-derivative inclusions.
Simply, bluntly, and uncompromisingly put, inserting non-Whites into a White story is at least as wrong as inserting Whites into a non-White story. It’s Cultural Appropriation in fact, though not in nomenclature since the anti-White racists defined that as Whites finding any value in- and adopting any portions or trappings of non-White cultures.
But, the Race-Baiters’ Problems
The first problem the new, #Woke iteration of Hollywood faces is that their preferred People, the Blacks, are only 13-ish% of the US population and not an important factor in the financial market. So, Black-centric cinema is inherently of limited interest and economic value, and will employ only a tiny number of Black actors and actresses. That’s largely why Hollywood went full-on anti-White and effectively required that all productions especially privilege non-Whites over Whites. In the absence of the possibility of equality, they’ve chosen to go for equity instead.
Second & Greater Problem:
The second and greater problem the new, #Woke iteration of Hollywood faces is that their chosen people have no stories to tell, or near enough to none as to make no difference in the marketspace. Through – and let’s be honest about this – essentially no fault of their own, the Blacks are completely divorced from their ancestors’ cultural roots. That means that, especially in quasi-historical and/or fantasy genres, there are few, if any, intrinsically Black roles for them. And, using the current and most obvious example, The Woman King, fraught with issues due to African history being “messy” by Western and Westernized cultural and ethical standards.
So no! The issue with The Rings Of Power isn’t racism. The issue is Hollywood’s race-baiting and ever more gratuitous racial recasting of White stories. This is nothing but cultural appropriation and subornation for the sake of being #Woke and for ensuring, whether it’s a valid thing or not, that Black theater sorts reach economic parity with Whites in the same field.